But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Friday, January 20, 2012


Last night I made some new BFFs!  And got to see my Cancer Sisters, Amy and Carin, again!  I thank them for inviting me to this dinner!  I attended my first Breast Cancer Support Group Dinner.  They go by the name...The Merry Crazies.....and after meeting them, I think I can see why.  They were a fun, crazy, emotional and warm group of women....all who have fought breast cancer and are surviving.  There were 15 of us there last night, which appeared to be the largest group they've had so far. 

These pictures did not turn out well, but I'm going to post them anyway.  I asked the waitress to take them for us and she couldn't get us all in one big group, so she took different shots from different angles.  Do you see me?  lol!  It was probably my fault...my camera takes a second to focus and I didn't explain that to the waitress, so the shots are totally out of focus....sorry!  Maybe I can get a better one next time.

Yep, I'm in red!

We were a group of all ages, different backgrounds, different breast cancers....but many of the same stories, including having the same doctors in common.  Some of us were 5 years out....3 years out....1 year out....and under a year since our diagnosis.  There was laughter and there was crying.  It was good for me to hear "their stories" and very humbling when tears flowed from someone having a hard time with their diagnosis or treatment.  It was heartbreaking to hear one of them share that she was angry.....I just wanted to grab her up and hug her and make that anger and pain go away.  I never got angry....probably the closest I got to anger was when I thought, "gee, I never smoked, or drank, or did drugs...I was pretty much a goody two shoe...so, why did I get this?". It was a fleeting question and while those things may be bad for your health, I have come to realize that none of us are immune from getting cancer....and none of us are more deserving to get it.  I honestly have felt at times that some people think I somehow caused my own cancer and they are immune from it because they do all the "right things".  I guess I used to think like them because I was angry with my dad when he got cancer from smoking.  He still didn't deserve cancer...no one deserves cancer!

It touched me to hear hearts being poured out....hearts that were broken to be diagnosed with cancer and to look at their own mortality for the first time in their lives..  Even the waitress was in tears.  It really is sobering to face that thought.  This support group is a great place to speak of these things to women who "understand".  We can even open up about things we may not open up about with our families.  I think we are instilled with a desire to "protect" our family and may not share some of our thoughts with them.  With a support group, you can let it all hang out!  We may all handle it in different ways....but we all understand each other.  While survivors put on a "strong face" most of the time, there are times when we just need to have a good cry.  This was a good place for that.

You know, I think I was so focused on fighting the cancer that a lot didn't really sink in to me.  Last night I think one big thing sunk in....I had cancer.  CANCER!!!  The big dreaded, deadly disease.  When your fight is coming to an end and there are less treatments and doctor appointments, I think it hits you.  I still feel very positive about my prognosis, but you are never free from the thought of cancer cells being in your body....how can you know if they are all gone?  How can you know whether any went some place else in your body?  How can you know if the chemo killed all of the cells?  The thought is always there.  The thought of it returning someday is always there.  It just is!  I know if that happens....I'll fight again!  But, even though you may seem to the outside world to be "over" cancer, you are really never "over" it...it still hangs it's ugly head over you.  And speaking with those who have survived for years, I can tell it doesn't go away.  

Having the knowledge that any cancer cell has been in your body changes things.  You hear so much about the 5 year survival rate and I don't really understand it.  One doctor explained to a friend of mine that if you make it to five years you are considered "cured".  But, how can that be?  Is there really a time that you are truly "cured"?  What about the women who make it to the 5 year mark and then it comes back at 10 years?  Were they cured?  The word "cured" to me would mean to never come back.  So, while I'll be happy to make it to the 5 year mark, I'm not sure I'll feel "cured".  Now, please don't think I'm being negative....I'm just being "real".  Im not worried....I'm just human and it's a reality of my life.  I know I'm in God's hands and He gives me peace.    

You go on with life....you try to bury that knowledge (although that's impossible), you celebrate any good report from doctor check-ups, and you thank God for every day that you have free of cancer!  And you constantly pray that it does not ever return!

I am enjoying life instead of watching it pass me by.  When a friend says, "hey, let's go to Nashville, Tennessee for the weekend"....I say "why not?", instead of making hundreds of excuses not to go. This is why I have "changed" and find myself wanting to do things I've never done before and being more open to new experiences.  I've even been thinking lately that I want to go ziplining...and I have a fear of heights...lol!  This is why I sometimes take myself out of my own comfort zone and in the process, I find so many blessings I would have missed out on!   We all have a mortality....just some of us have had to face the thought sooner and when you do, it changes you.  I grieve and pray for those I have met who may not be doing as well in their treatments or may not have a good prognosis.  I rejoice with those who are winning the fight.  It's such a mixed bag of emotions.  And it helps to join with others who know exactly what you have been through.....both mentally and physically.

  I will definately be joining this group of wonderful women who call themselves the "Merry Crazies".  I felt very welcomed last night and look forward to getting to know each of them better.  I feel honored to have the opportunity to become a Merry Crazy and I think I can live up to that name...lol!  They were a crazy bunch and even though we had our serious moments, we had lots of laughs!  Laughter is good for the soul!  They meet once a month for dinner and I'm always up for eating out...lol!  I also found out last night that they walk in the Komen Survivor walk in Indianapolis together as a "team", so I'm looking forward to being a part of that!  Some people seem to be turned off by all of the Komen stuff and the pink ribbons....but, it has a place in my life right now.  It's not a sorority I ever wanted to join, but I now have "sisters" who mean the world to me. 

If I had just sat in my home and stayed in my "own little world", I never would have experienced the support I have received from others I never would have met.  I never would have forged the new friendships I made in the past year.  It is good to venture out.....even out of my "comfort zone".  My life has been enriched by venturing out and I will continue to do so.  Life is too short to stay in one spot....I'm going to live life and new experiences and my new "sorority".  I may not have wanted to belong to it, but now that I do....I may as well enjoy all it has to offer!

Today I went for some blood work with my regular physician.  I have my annual physical the end of this month and he always does blood work to go along with it.  They will be checking my liver and kidney, chlorestoral and sugar....and a couple of others things I forget.  I've been feeling really tired lately...not sure why.  Some days I haven't even wanted to get out of bed.  It may just be the winter blahs or a side affect from the Arimidex, but I am glad to have my blood checked for any problems and I will be speaking to him about it when I go see him.  Then I'll see my surgeon on Feb. 6 and I've got some questions for her too.  I actually like going to my different doctors...it gives me a feeling of "doing something" to watch out for any return of cancer.  Once treatments are over, it's hard to just sit back and feel like you're doing nothing.  Maybe that will ease up with time, but immediately following treatment you find yourself still wanting to fight it.

Until next time....do you have your mammogram scheduled for this year?  How about your annual check-up?  I'm so proud of my friend, Linda!  She made her mammogram appointment today...yay Linda, way to go!!!  She actually was able to make it the same day and same time and same doctor I go to on Feb. 6.  So, we'll go up to Greenwood together and I feel sure a lunch and a little shopping will have to follow.  lol!  Hey, we can't let any opportunity for lunch get by us!  If you haven't made your appointment yet...please do!  :=) 

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