Tuesday, March 10, 2015

CANCER: Sometimes you just have to keep on going!

When I first find out I had cancer, all my future plans went out the door.  The truth is that you really don't know how long you're going to live.  Then the doctor starts telling you about all the extreme and unpredictable treatments you're going to have.  The fear of the unknown almost drives you crazy. The emotional aspect of having cancer is sometimes worse than the painful treatments you must endure.  You want your life to continue on as usual.  You just want everything to be normal and you know that everything is going to change.  But does life have to change?

On Monday, February 23, 2015,  I had to have an additional treatment.  This treatment had to be given through and IV for a duration of about 30 minutes.  My estrogen inhibitor that is suppose to stop the progression of my cancer causes severe bone deterioration.  The new treatment medicine is called Zometa prevents my bones from breaking but has extreme side effects. I will have to take this treatment every 28 days for the rest of my life. My daughter Sarah came with me to my appointment, as I didn't know whether or not I would be able to drive home after I completed the treatment.  After I finished, I felt just fine.  I even went to Costco.  My kids know that the day I can no longer shop at Costco is the day they better call Hospice!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015  was a different day.  Several of the side effects started to kick in and I felt as if someone had taken a bat and beat me over and over and I couldn't move a muscle.  I felt as if I had the worst case of the aching flu I had ever had.  Also, the joint pain in my body almost prohibited me from walking or moving about.  But still, there are others who have these side effects and even more.  I felt lucky.

My husband and each of my children have been a huge support for me and have helped me tremendously.  I don't know what I would do without them! I love it when Jenna comes over to visit with my three grandchildren.  They keep me moving and feeling young. My daughter Sarah who is an R.N. keeps my physical and mental health in check. Mariah always find the time to help me out no matter how busy she is in school and work. My youngest child Emma has taken a different approach about my cancer.  Even though she feels sad about my situation, she talks as if my future plans will remain the same and that life can keep moving on normally.  When I'm around her, sometimes I forget I have cancer.  I get up in the morning, take her to school, pick her up, take her here and take her there.

One of the things I enjoy doing for Emma is taking her to her various bookings.  I bet you'll never guess what she does.  She started her own business as an entertainer character.  She portrays the character "Elsa" from the movie Frozen and schedules her services for mostly birthday parties.  She looks exactly like Elsa! She even sings the song "Let It Go" at the parties. She does an excellent job!

Since Emma started her business, she had always wanted to make a music video portraying Elsa singing "Let It Go."  No one had ever made a music video singing "Let It Go" in real snow, with the real dress, with real hair, with real talent, and that looked EXACTLY like Elsa!  When I found out I had cancer, I knew it would be impossible to do what she wanted.  I thought I would be too sick to help.  No way was this going to happen.  Plus, we hadn't had any snow and I just wanted to give up.  Emma pushed on and paid for and ordered a new dress that looked exactly like the one in the movie. I mean exactly!!  She just kept going on.  Then it finally snowed in Flagstaff! (About three hours away.) My daughter Jenna texted me and said, "It's snowing in Flagstaff!!!! You've got to go and make the video!!!"

I called up my brother-in-law Brian Stewart, who has a degree in film, (how lucky is that!) and decided we would go up only two days after my treatment. This was the last chance we would have before things started heating up around here.  I do live in Arizona!  There was only one problem.  Two days after my IV treatment of Zometa, I still felt like I had the worst case of the flu EVER.  So I had to make a choice. I could lay there on the couch and dash everyone's dreams away, or I could keep on living my life normally and fight on through this struggle.  So I got myself off the couch and off we went to make the video! It took the entire day and we had so much fun!  We laughed all the way up and laughed all the way back!  Laughing is actually an excellent source of medicine!  No matter how difficult life can be, you have to keep on going and find happiness in the daily struggles of life. Don't let ANYTHING keep you down!

Drum roll please......!  Here is the music video of Emma singing "Let It Go,"  ENJOY!!

(And for extra fun you can listen to more of Emma's music at emmamichelle.com )