Two things I want to share. First, I am very excited to be able to share this little film my friend Alison put together of me getting my henna tattoo. It is beautifully done and really showcases Christalene’s project and my story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Second, I received this post on Facebook via my very close friend Rob Brown. Family is more like it. He’s such a source of positivity and inspiration in my life and to many others. I was moved to tears when I read this and felt so honored by what he had to say. Instead of trying to tell you what an awesome lyricist/poet this man is, I will just let his words do the talking. For those of you fighting this disease, remember, there is a soldier in each one of you!
“I guess it isn’t ironic that without your hair you look like a little soldier because you have sure put up one hell of a fight, and I am so grateful to call myself your friend. The funny thing about days is that they seem to come and go without so much as a thought that they may actually have numbers. That is of course, until the dreadful day comes when someone tells you that they do. The sheer magnitude of what you have accomplished is only eclipsed by the absolute courage and class that you have demonstrated while doing so. Proof that angels truly do walk the earth because surely only an angel could take something so ugly and turn it into art. That is what you have become before our very eyes, living art. The smallest things you do continues to restore my faith in human beings. Who would ever have thought that the little girl with the mega-watt smile would have stood so defiantly in the face of adversity, whispering a “no” that became a roar telling the world that you are here and you won’t go without a fight. We hear you loud and clear and only ask that you allow us to stand here and watch you complete your masterpiece. I only hope that when my time comes, whatever is in you, I also find in myself. Thank you Amber Blose, for reminding us that days do have numbers, and every last one of them is worth fighting for…”
Last week I went to visit my dear friend Christalene for a reiki session. I knew I was long over due as I could sense it was getting harder for me to keep up my positivity. Not only was I excited for my reiki, but I was also getting a henna tattoo on my head! Yes yes I know. At first this probably sounds crazy or silly. But I must explain how we got here.
About a year and a half ago Christalene and I got together so I could have reiki done. She also planned a full body painting session for me as well. You see, this was a few months after our little Cameron had passed and she wanted to help in my healing process. So while we were having my reiki session she had a vision of doing what she now calls Healing Through Body Art. She envisioned painting women with scars or burns to empower them and let them know they are beautiful. To help them heal. She also thought it would be beneficial for women with cancer who had lost their hair. She could paint or do henna on their heads. I felt this was incredible. My body painting session was just that. It helped me on both an emotional and spiritual level to heal.
Now fast forward to the present. I’m getting a henna tattoo on my head! It’s like we came full circle without any indication we would be here. When this idea came to light, I was a year away from my diagnosis. Yet here we are. Not only did I get my henna on my head but the amazing Alison Harbaugh from Freckle Photography and Sugar Farm Productions came over to take photos and film the entire session.
While Christalene was creating her art on my head I was able to reflect on my journey so far in life and how much I have overcome. It’s really incredible actually, what the human spirit is capable of. I truly hope that others can gain something from this.
It’s been almost three weeks since my final chemo treatment. It’s been too long since my last post too. Things have gotten a bit crazy since then. First off, saying goodbye to chemo was great! I got to ring the bell at the infusion center for completing my treatment and all the nurses signed a certificate commemorating my journey. I have since then been trying to hold on to that happiness. The neuropathy is progressing and I am doing my best to cope with this side effect. I’m also tired all of the time. It’s a tired that I can’t explain. I can basically fall asleep whenever and wherever in a matter of seconds. This can be very disruptive when it comes to my normal daily activities. Which brings me to the next thing that has occurred. I am not working. My doctor put me out of work for the next 8 weeks. She felt this was in my best interest given the side effects I’m experiencing and how I’ve been dealing with the stress of working through Chemotherapy. She said that my side effects will continue to add up for the few weeks that follow my last treatment before they start to get better. And then I will begin radiation for 6 weeks with treatment everyday. This will also add to the fatigue which will build up throughout treatment and last a few weeks after treatment ends just like chemo. Fun times ahead!
I have been to so many appointments over the last couple weeks! I had my radiation consult, a CT scan, tattoos for radiation, and surgery to have my port removed! I still have to have an MRI, 1 month follow up with my oncologist and a follow up with my breast surgeon as it has been 6 months since my lumpectomy! 6 months!?!?!?!? That is crazy! I can’t believe it. So many things to be thankful for.
And just when I thought things might be going smoothly and I was on the road to recovery, I received a letter in the mail from the state. They only approved my leave for 4 weeks instead of the full amount requested due to my doctors orders. I am beside myself right now. But doing my best to not let it send me over the edge with worry. I will be calling work and trying to figure out what is going on and why. The letter stated I need to be evaluated by a state medical board doctor. Really???? You mean to tell me that a doctor from the state medical board is more qualified then my oncologist to give an opinion on my health?
Sidenote: I called work and was told that the meeting with the state medical director is to determine whether or not I will be in fact coming back to work. This doesn’t make any sense as I already gave them my doctors letter and such that says I will be back.