The thing I didn’t share

So tired. They say that every person has a different reponse to chemotherapy and that I’ll learn my own pattern soon. It looks like I’m not that bad off for the first 20 hours or so (I even ate dinner with my family Thursday night and read/commented on a few blogs Friday morning!), but then it hits me and hits me hard. I could hardly pull myself up yesterday to nibble on crackers or read to my children (but I did). I’m up early today with nausea and yet fatigue, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go back to sleep again soon. Today should probably be another recovery day.

Another 100 of you have posted the inflammatory breast cancer post, bringing the total to 224 so far. Many are family blogs, some are hobby blogs, a few even are outside the scope of mommy-family-crafting blogs. Huzzah. I hope that means that another woman will get help earlier.

Because the thing I didn’t share yesterday, and that I’m not exactly making calls to people about, is that we got a scare on Thursday. The resident (a doctor, but not MY oncologist) that we finally saw told me that it looks like the chemotherapy isn’t working. That the cancer is growing. That we’ll have to switch to a new set of drugs — including one that isn’t yet FDA-approved for breast cancer. Friends, she scared me. A lot. But when my oncologist did appear, she pronounced it, “not as bad,” as it had been described to her, and prescribed another cycle of the AC. Good news, in that there was no delay in my treatment on Thursday, but overall a scary day.

Which made the dancing later all that more beautiful. We must cling to hope. We must cling to faith. We must cling to each other.

I am reminded during this time of the importance of faith. I have always been a Christian, and pray daily, but this challenge is really bringing it to the forefront. As On the Horizon reminded me this morning, and dozens of you remind me daily, this is a fight that must be fought not only with drugs, and rest, and support from friends and family, but also with prayer. Horizons selected Phillipians 4:6 for her post: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I have been anxious. I have even been scared. I have been praying, but I suppose I have not been giving it all up to God to carry for me, because I still worry. I still am afraid. I still flinch when I hear my friends talk about “next summer,” because for me it seems so binary — will I be alive and vibrant again, laughing, and taking my children to swimming lessons? Or ….

I can’t finish that last statement. All I can do is take the chemicals, rest, and pray. Pray that once again we will have joyous days together as a family, and a day without the omnipresent threat of cancer.

thedaybeforechemo

P.S. Canape says that a picture will help people know who to pray for. In that case, here we are. Taken the day before chemo, this is me and my baby son. The one who I want to know me as the mom who hugs him, loves him, plays with him, and grounds him when necessary. Not the mom he knows only from this journal and a few pictures. If you pray, please pray that this chemotherapy treatment works for me this time. I am, all the time, and I have to believe that it is helping.

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82 Responses to The thing I didn’t share

  1. Angela says:

    I am up early, too. I finally started feeling angry this week – about time! I need to write about it …

    I pray for you and your family along with mine.

  2. whymommy says:

    Angela — You, Lawmom, little Parker (and others) are always in my prayers as well.

    Write about the anger, if it helps. I’m learning that it’s healthy to feel it, healthy to write about it, and healthiest of all to leave it on the page (if you can).

    By the way, I’m told that the rising early and trouble sleeping the week after chemo is due almost entirely to the anti-nausea meds — some have steriods.

  3. christine says:

    you are in my thoughts a lot, lady. i’ll send up as many prayers i can for you. be well.

  4. whygranddad says:

    We are also up early and with you.

    This blog is about raising toddlers and the joys and fears that go with it. Being concerned about you children never grows easier as the years pass.

    One hopes and prays that a child grows up to be loving, strong, full of faith and intergity. You are all of that and more.

    We love you so much and hold you in the keep of our hearts every minute of the day.

    Love
    whygranddad and whygrammy

  5. Ana says:

    Both of you are beautiful! Daily I visit your log and send prayers for you and your family because I know He hears.

  6. maggie says:

    Continued best wishes for you and your family. Kick cancer’s butt.

  7. You know what? The first thing I thought of when I saw your picture was “wow… she’s going to look so striking with supershort hair.”

    I know that’s totally shallow, and I know the loss of your hair is entirely against your will. But I am fixated on it, for some reason – imagining brand new fluff coming back, brand new like your life, post-fight.

    Keep on, warrior mama!

  8. What a gorgeous photo. It’s of a beautiful woman who is conquering cancer.

    And don’t even get me started on that adorable baby boy.

  9. Natalie says:

    You are in my prayers and I will pass the word about early detection of all kinds of breast cancer. You have changed me, and I want to help you. Strength, comfort, healing and peace… I am praying.

  10. Eva says:

    I don’t know if you are up to reading something like this or not, but I feel strongly about giving you this article, written by someone just before his prostate surgery.

  11. Stimey says:

    I guess cue-ball’s not such a big deal when you’re thinking about this. We talk about next summer and we talk about how fun kids are when they’re older because we know you’re going to be there to see it. It’s bad, or not as bad, or better, but you’re going to beat it. You. Are Going To Beat It. Like everyone keeps saying, keep on keeping on. You and Little Bear are quite a cute little couple too.

  12. This too shall pass. And we’re praying. We’re all praying. And the pic WAS wonderful.

  13. Colleen says:

    You have been, and will continue to be, in my prayers until you beat this thing!

  14. amanda says:

    Put a big old check next to prayers from the Adirondacks.

    Scares are just going to make the victory that much sweeter.

    Keep dancing sweet mama.

    PS You don’t feel it now, but you are every bit as vibrant as ever.

  15. LawyerMama says:

    Thank you for the picture. It does help to put a face to the words. I’m not a praying person, but I think of you and your boys all the time.

    Here’s to next Summer and swimming lessons. You’ll be there!

  16. Jenn says:

    Oh, my heart has known who it was praying for.

    Now my eyes do, too.

    In my thoughts, in my heart, in my prayers.

  17. Joanna says:

    You are beautiful, in physical presence and spirit. I admire you so much and pray for your full recovery. Thank you for giving us a personal account of your journey. Strength and smile vibes to you, today -

  18. Dawn says:

    Thank you for the picture – I pray too . . .

  19. tori says:

    Thank you for the picture! Canape is right. The picture helps me put a face on who I am praying for.

    I know what you mean about the scares. I had a big one after my radiation. It turns out we should only listen to our actual doctor because other doctors who mean well seem to say things like that all the time and scare all of us for no good reason.

    As always, if there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know!

  20. Tracy says:

    Hello! I just discovered your blog this week…after following a link here to info on IBC. You are very courageous to be sharing your story. You radiat light and hope, truly you do. It is wonderful to see you, and your sweet son. Know that you are surrounded by love, prayer and hope! I’ve linked your you post on IBC at my blog and spreading the word to get awareness out there. ((HUGS))

  21. ~JJ! says:

    I’ve never prayed harder!

  22. Ally says:

    I love the scripture that you included here. I’ve never really understood prayer– the mechanics of it, the question of cause and effect. But I do believe in the power of prayer, and I know from that scripture that we are supposed to pray. So today, and each day thereafter, I will continue praying that your treatment will work and you will recover. Thanks for including the picture; it really does help to have a mental image (and it helps that the mental image of you and your babe is so lovely).

  23. MammaLoves says:

    The posts are working!! Look a new visitor tracked back to you from info re: IBC!! (see two comments above).

    Thank you for sharing your journey/your fight. I send up a prayer for you every day.

  24. mcewen says:

    You’re right. The photograph helps the picture in my mind, match my prayers.
    Best wishes

  25. bon says:

    you are beautiful, Whymommy. and like Kate, when i saw your picture, i saw your face with the fuzz of new growth around it, healthy, surviving.

    that will be the picture of you in my prayers and thoughts.

  26. san says:

    your words touch me. i pray for you and your sweet family everyday.

  27. Astrid says:

    I’m not sure how, but I just kind of happened on your blog. I’ll definitely pray for you and that the chemo will work.

  28. Amanda says:

    I’m praying for you everyday. The verse you posted is beautiful – give it to God.

  29. clifford says:

    Praying for you. We all are. Hang in there, girlfriend. :D

  30. Your oldest friend, Adam says:

    Nearly every waking hour, on the hour I pray for you, lifting you up before our Father to heal you and make you whole and for those around you, that He will give them strength to hold you up in times of weakness. I know that God is a whole lot better at taking care of my Beloved and our children because He loves them more than I do. So I get to trust Him with those who are most important to me on this earth. He is big enough. And He will take care of you and those whom you hold most dear!

    But on a note of silliness…

    I bet the iPod from Canape and Clifford didn’t include the unpublished lyrics from They Might Be Giants, Particle Man, found in an old trunk at our high school. Enjoy.

    Gadolinium man, Gadolinium man.
    Gadolinium man hates Cancer man.
    They have a fight.
    Gadolinium wins!
    Gadolinium man.
    Ba, bada, bada, bada, bada, bada, bada, bada, bada, bump, bop, bop, bada….

  31. Angela says:

    I am praying for you.

  32. Lynn says:

    WhyMommy, thanks for posting the photo. Oh my, you could be my sister! :) I’m sure many people, like me, have already been praying for you, but you are right to ask..you can never have too much prayer! I just sent your request on to my mothers’ group at Saint Columba’s Episcopal Church here in DC and also to our pastoral care leader. God Bless and stay strong! You are amazing…

  33. whymommy says:

    Adam, you always did make me laugh. Can you believe we’ve been making each other laugh since WE were in preschool? And now we have preschoolers (and older! and younger!) of our own? My fondest wish for my children is that they make and keep friends that love each other, like I have. Thanks for the giggle as I go through the bad days.

  34. “With God, all things are possible.”

    – The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 19 Verse 26

    Lots of love and hugs… You WILL get through this, Whymommy.

    CGF xo

  35. canape says:

    Thank you for showing the world the most beautiful smile ever. Smiles, I should say. Both yours and Little Bear’s.

    Love you much.

  36. That’s a beautiful picture, one that I know you and Little Bear will look at together many years from now and think “how far we’ve come…”

    Sending industrial strength good thoughts to you. Hey, they’re coming from the Holy Land, does that give bonus points?

  37. I am not a prayerful person. Somewhere along the way, I became a lapsed Christian, perhaps agnostic.

    But today, more than anyday, I wanted to believe there was a higher power looking after you and I prayed for you with clenched fists and tears streaming down my face.

    Thank for the picture.

  38. Lena says:

    Canape showed me a picture of you at BlogHer (at my request) because I DO pray for you every night and I DO think about you often. Having a face to go with your funny, feisty, intelligent, and strong personality just completed the package. ;)

    As for the asshat doctor that scared you, perhaps it’s time for him to look into another career.

  39. Kat says:

    Hi there

    I’m new to your blog. I spent hours last night and again today “catching up” on all your post since you first became concerned.

    You Go Girl! You’re amazing and inspiring and you’re reaching so many people. I’m working on a post about your blog and will put it on my blog later tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. You’re so right, the more people who read this, the more that can be helped.

    I’m a breast cancer survivor myself. I want you to know that I care and will be praying for you and following along with you on your journey to full recovery :-)

    I have a list of healing scriptures that helped me so much (and still do) when I was going through my treatments. If you’d like this list, e-mail me. My e-mail address is on my profile.

    Hugs!
    Kat

  40. Kim says:

    thank you for your image to hold in my heart

  41. coolbeans says:

    I don’t remember the real lyrics for that song so I’m hearing, “Particle man, particle man….Particle man, particle man….Particle man, particle man….” over and over in my head. Thanks, Adam.

    I think about you all the time and I’m reading even when I don’t comment. When I pray, I remember you. I’ll remember to pray for your doctors from now on, too.

  42. babyomine says:

    Explaining you and IBC to my 21 year old daughter just now, brought me to tears.
    We all should have been more informed. I have a whymommy button but I did not put your story on my blog – but I will today. Even 21 year olds need to know.

    Praying, praying hard …

  43. Jenifer says:

    You are in my prayers WhyMommy…..

    You are an inspiration to us all!

  44. [...] The thing I didn’t share So tired.  They say that every person has a different reponse to chemotherapy and that I’ll learn my own pattern […] [...]

  45. Lynn in GA says:

    Consider the prayers done and more will be coming. I pray for you every night. I believe in the power of prayer! We prayed for my twin boys and even though it took a long 18 months after that prayer to conceive them, God was faithful! He will be to you also. I also have something else to share with you, can you email me when you have a moment when you’re feeling semi-awake? It’s something that may help you in your fight.

  46. That is a gorgeous photo of you both! It is nice to have a face to associate with your words. What a precious little angel you have! Look at that smile!

    You and your family are in my thoughts daily. I hope the thoughts and prayers of so many are helping you as you fight this thing.

  47. ohamanda says:

    Thanks for posting the picture. It really does help. I know you probably get lots of stories like this, but I just want to tell you mine as an encouragement. So, just take it as that. My dad had emergency surgery on a cancerous tumor in his colon. He’d been sick for months and we didn’t know what it was until then. Oh, it makes me sick just thinking about how long that cancer ate at him! Anyway, we were diligent with our prayers and with God’s Word. Daddy went thru surgery, chemo & radiation. Your stories of how you’re feeling sound so similar to him. But we continued to wash our minds with God’s Word and Daddy is healed today. I believe he’s healed because of a miracle. I pray for you everyday–honestly, I am not just saying that. And I’m praying healing! If you’re interested, I’ve posted a little more about this. Especially about how I prayed for Daddy and for another friend that has cancer.

    http://ohamanda.wordpress.com/2007/04/10/especially-heather/
    http://ohamanda.wordpress.com/2007/04/30/god-stuff/
    http://ohamanda.wordpress.com/2007/03/16/my-miracle/

    a

  48. Sunshine says:

    You’re even more adorable than I imagined. I think of you every time I see my little Team WhyMommy button, and when my best friend had breast cancer too, I had to keep reminding her, “you know, I know there’s all kind of people you are ‘being strong’ for, but don’t forget some days it’s totally OK to piss and moan and cry and be pissed off and say ‘this sucks’…so, I guess I’m saying to you too, be strong but also, don’t forget there’s days it might just help you more to feel mad and cry and get that stuff out of your system too. All those feelings are valid, nobody can be strong all the time.

    Thinking of you, darlin.

  49. kgirl says:

    Done and done. You are beautiful and so is your babe, but I thought that way before I saw your picture.

  50. Heather says:

    Coming out of lurkdom to let you know that I’m praying for you and your family. I wish you all peace and pray that the chemo does it’s job that your wish comes true.

  51. Canape was right. Even for those of us who don’t pray, the visualization of a healthy you helps us to send healing your way. You are so vibrant in that picture. Stay strong, stay strong.

  52. FENICLE says:

    Just as I pictured you – beautifully created by God. I pray for you, your strength and your family daily.

  53. Robin says:

    You are so beautiful! Now where is that tiara? ;-)

  54. Aliki says:

    You continue to be in my thoughts, and in my heart.

  55. Mieke says:

    It’s great to see you! It does help to direct the prayers for healing to a face.

    Lots of kisses and wishes for swimming lessons next summer.

    M

  56. liz says:

    May you live to see your children’s children have their swimming lessons.

  57. Jenn says:

    I wish you well and have been praying since the first message on DCUrban mom’s. It does help to direct the prayers to a face, although it I was praying already. You are a wonderful mother and you will beat this thing. I didn’t need to see the picture to know how beautiful you are.

  58. Kristin says:

    You and yours are certainly in my thoughts and prayers.

  59. Mrs. Chicken says:

    You are so beautiful. And so is that wee baby. I admire your willingness to open up and articulate the fears that so many share. My dad never talked with me about his cancer and it is a regret I will live with forever that we couldn’t share his fears.

    You continue to live fiercely, and I continue to admire and pray for you with just as much ferocity.

  60. Scylla says:

    You are in my prayers, my thoughts, and my hopes. You have a lovely little boy.

  61. Leanne says:

    My best healing thoughts are coming your way.

  62. Binky says:

    Thanks for sharing your words, as always, and now your picture. I’ll send you more prayers in return.

  63. Damselfly says:

    Wow, I’m glad your oncologist thinks it’s not as bad as the other doctor thought. And thanks for the photo! What a beautiful smile you have! Your little guy is precious too.

  64. Colleen says:

    My prayers are with you and with successful chemo treatment.

    224 posts!!! How amazing! You’re reaching out to so many.

    Thank you for posting your picture. I think having a picture of someone in your head really helps you to connect. Thank you.

  65. Jenn says:

    Inspiration! That’s what you are to me – and it seems to so many!

    A family to support during this time and here you are making lists of HOW you can better let the world know about IBC!

    Your little man is soo adorable, and your such a strong person – stay that way!

    Many many prayers!

  66. Arkie Mama says:

    Beautiful photo. Thanks for sharing it.

    Hugs & prayers … I hope the fatigue and nausea fade soon.

  67. Carrie says:

    A friend of mine just went through her SECOND battle with breast cancer, and was constantly telling us that while she would never have chosen cancer as a way to grow closer to Christ, she was glad that it had happened.

    I am praying that those words will echo in your mind after you’ve beat this thing.

  68. spacemom says:

    Ugh, They are still working on training residents on how to talk bad news with patients…

    Hopefully, the new drugs will help kick this thing.
    Glad there is no delay in treatment…

  69. Kendra says:

    What a beatiful picture! I always think of Philippians 4:13 when I need a lift. “I can do all things through Him strengthens me.”

  70. [...] The Thing I Didn’t Share from WhyMommy. [...]

  71. GTech Doc says:

    Being a doctor is a lot more difficult than anonymously passing judgement on someone you have never met. It is the practice of medicine for a reason. It is rare that someone is a savant in their chosen field at birth….nearly all of us have to study and train in our chosen profession to become proficient at it. Remember that.

  72. allthepretties says:

    Two days late, and a dollar short.
    I just love you, and I say that as one Christian Sister, to Another. I pray for you and your family every single day, and you are always always in my thoughts and prayers. Every day. I have to say that your open-ness about your treatment has been more theraputic for me than you know. Even though you have two different cancers, my mother is not a sharer. And other than SEEING that she feels like crap, you can only get a “Im just tired” out of her. So I thank you.
    Faith has nothing to do with emotions. My mom said that before Tammy Faye did. And, that just rings in my head daily.
    God has got the Whole World in His Hands, Friend.

  73. Jennifer says:

    Wow, I’m late to reading this.

    Praying.

    Thanks for the picture. It really is nice to know who’s getting so many of my prayers.

  74. Jennie says:

    You are so beautiful- what a great soul shines through your eyes-

    My family and I are keeping your family in our prayers every day.

  75. Nancy says:

    Wow. It is so wonderful to see you. You have the most beautiful and welcoming smile.

  76. planetnomad says:

    I’m praying too. Thanks for sharing the pic.
    I’ve been wondering how things were going, but haven’t had internet for weeks now to see. But you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I am impressed at your energy in educating all of us about IBC. Don’t worry if you have off-days where you just need rest though.

  77. [...] The thing I didn’t share [...]

  78. urban urchin says:

    I am praying that not only do you get to take your children to their swimming lessons, but your grandchildren as well.

  79. Leigh says:

    Thank you for sharing your picture – you are in my prayers. I got the code for the button from Canape today in an email, so I put that along with your post on my blog. Just remember – when your legs don’t feel like holding you up, we are here holding you up in spirit. You can do this.

  80. [...] summer days of lazing on a blanket and playing in the back yard.  Pool parties with friends.  Swimming lessons.  And then, the chill in the air and the changing colors on the trees.  Seeing another Fall [...]

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