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    DAMISA  
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I am so past-due for a new blog entry...


Thursday, March 11, 2010

My birthday has come and gone. I actually got to celebrate it with a large group of my cousins, as well as my brother, sister-in-law, and nephews. I have to say, I haven't had a birthday celebration with so many family members since I was a kid -- and I loved it!

My last PET scan has come and gone -- and the results were awesome! I still have metastatic breast cancer -- there are still little cancer nasties that migrated outside of where they should have stayed, BUT some of the lesions have DISAPPEARED and the "uptake" (cancer-nasty building) in the active tumor was down significantly! Now, if we can just get this anemia from the chemo under control, I might even start to feel something akin to normal!

Speaking of normal, two of my Florida Duranie Girlz came to visit me for a long weekend. I rented a car (since mine still lives in Florida) and we stayed at a hotel. I drove for the first time in over a year -- and I loved it! I actually felt as close to normal as I have since December 16, 2008 (my diagnosis day). We went to the Warhol Museum, shopped and ate in the Strip District (it's a shopping area), and shopped some more! We have been Duran Duran concert roomies in the past, so it felt kind of like that (without the actual concert). I sooooooooooooooo *heart* my friends for coming to see me -- even with 2 feet of snow on the ground. The sun seemed to follow them and it was fairly warm while they were here. The day that they left, it started to snow again. How weird is that???

I had an appointment with my oncologist this week and, despite my icky cold that I got from my baby nephew, she told me that I looked great. She asked the "are you still working" question and I told her that I was. My aunt was with me and she was as tired of hearing that question as I was, so she chimed in, "I think that it is great that she is working and involved in something. I think that working is good for her." So my oncologist decided to ask me about what I do. Of course, a big smile spread across my face as I told her what I do how it makes me happy. She told me that I am a tough girl with an amazing attitude.

Speaking of attitude. Mine is this:

1. I refuse to believe that I was middle aged at 17.
2. I refuse to give up on living because my body has decided it wants to be sick.
3. I refuse to believe that all that I have put my body through isn't somehow going to make me better -- even if better doesn't mean cancer-free.
4. I fully intend to live and be happy!

Now, I gave a lot of props to the folks who came to visit me last month. There have been others. My friend from Georgia drove up last Spring and another friend from Florida drove up just before Christmas. These very dear people contribute to above-stated attitude. And there's more...

And my brother and his family -- they have been going through all of this with me. They have been letting me live with them for over a year now. I am so blessed.

The office cheering committee sends me cards and care packages. Teachers from around the state have sent me get well and thinking of you cards. My colleagues in other states have sent me cards and cheerful emails. Former co-workers (from 7 years ago) sent me a gift and a card signed by everyone in the school -- some of whom didn't even know me. One of my projects held a workshop and had the participants sign a gigantic card. My Duranie Girlz Sunshine committee has sent me flowers, tea, etc. How can I not have a good attitude? I have people praying for me and cheering me on all the time. I am humbled by it. I shed tears of joy over it. And I respond by having the best days I can possibly have -- even on chemo days -- which is saying a lot sometimes. When there are so many pozzie vibes coming my way, I owe it to myself and to the senders of those vibes to let them affect my attitude. Of course, there are down days and "whoa is me" times, but I am so bolstered by my family, friends, and colleagues that I sometimes feel like I can fly.

How awesome is that?

Signing off to go play with my adorable nephews.

Everyone have joy -- because there is always joy to be had!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
BTRX71 3/16/2010 1:10AM

    Awesome blog! I love seeing how positive and strong you are. You are a motivation to all. Keep drawing in strength and love from the wonderful family and friends around you and please know with your posts you are sharing that strength. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KEYWEST_ANDREA 3/15/2010 4:23AM

    Florida Duranie girl checking in here..... It was great to get to see and hang out with you, we had a blast!! I haven't seen that much snow in YEARS!!! I could go for some more of that good food and good fun we had! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUEJENN 3/13/2010 12:10AM

    Wow, what a woman. When I feel low, not victimized, but yucky, you know I can read your blog. Not only your positive attitude but the love and support that comes from others for you reinforces the good in this world. We are walking a challenging path yes, but others are walking paths that are challenging to them in different ways. I wish we lived closer so I could give you this hug personally. emoticon

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CAROLYN0107 3/12/2010 11:05PM

    Thanks for your inspiring blog. I'm glad I didn't miss it.
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JUNETWO68 3/12/2010 6:41AM

    Dawn you have had a positive attitude since I have known you. I wish I could have come to see you. Maybe one day.

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TERJEGOLD 3/11/2010 9:57PM

    I am thrilled that you are taking charge of your life, enjoying things to the max and seeing the world as the beautiful gift that it is. I truly believe our attitudes, positive or negative, can have a big impact on how we respond to treatments, how we recover from surgeries and chemo and how we feel in general. Sounds as if you are taking a page from my book and making each day the best day ever.

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2BEHEALTHYAGAIN 3/11/2010 7:48PM

    WOW!! Your attitude, strength, and determination is quite inspirational. You are a blessing to everyone around you. I will keep you in my prayers.
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MOM2ACAT 3/11/2010 7:37PM

    I am glad your PET scan results were good!

Love your attitude too; especially #3; I know that what I am doing won't cure my cancer either, but I believe that trying to be as healthy as I can be will make it easier to live with.

A belated Happy Birthday to you too! emoticon

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