No, I am not financially rich....one day but not today. I am rich in support, love, loyalty, love (did I already say that), family, friends and support.
I have given a lot in my life, mostly to people who didn't really deserve it, I have put myself in financial debt for people, risked jobs to be there for people, spent hours on the phone in the middle of the night for a friend in need, dropped everything and given a lot of myself emotionally to people who needed me only to find when I needed them in return, I was alone. I spent years being sure that when things got really bad that I would be alone, because I had bad taste in friends and gave my heart and loyalty to those who did not give back.
But here I am, in one of the hardest fights of my life so far and I am far from alone. Some where along the way I became rich...I found out that I have an amazing family (Fosters, Wallaces and Solomons)...I have more support than anyone can anyone can ever ask for.
Truthfully without this support we could of been really (sorry to be crass) fucked in this situation. With moving to a new home, starting up a new business, two kids and then cancer on top of it all....I was scared we would drown...in debt, in stress, in sickness ...under the weight of it all. But support has come from all over the country....friends close and far away...family we see at every opportunity...and family that I have never met face to face. Sometimes I feel like my heart is going to explode because I feel so grateful, so loved....sometimes I feel so lucky, so amazed....so loved.
Friends I have known for only a couple of months have been so amazing, somewhere along the way I not only got amazing taste in friends but realized that there were some amazing ones I have had all along that I took for granted. My kids are so lucky to have people who will drop everything to be there for them, to watch them through my treatments, appointments or even just on days when I need to get out and forget it all. They are so loved, they are so lucky to have so many people there for them and they don't even understand it yet.
I have a great group of friends here...they make me laugh on days when I think laughing is impossible...they are amazing and really take a load off my shoulders that sometimes seems unbearable...but they make it feel as light as a feather. How did I get so lucky?
And let's not forget about family....my kids amaze me....they have seen me sick and barely able to talk...they have been there days where I can't get out of bed, days when I have no patience and am a grump...yet despite the mood I start in, they can make me smile. The other day we were walking in the store and Blake was behind me and he randomly announced (really loud) "My mommy pretty" ....little did he know it was a day I was feeling anything but...I was feeling bald and haggard ....and yet his unconditional love just saw me as pretty. Maddie constantly comes home from school with art work that is nothing but hearts and I love yous for me. They both make me stronger...they both make me feel better than they will ever know.
My husband. He is my rock. This can not be easy for him, I know how much he loves me and how hard this is for him to watch some days. He doesn't have friends like I have to take him out and help him laugh, relax and release all this stress. He is there whenever his friends need him but this has made me realize that he has very few of those friends there for him. He has been handling so much of this stress on his own (although his parents are constantly there for him from afar). He has been so strong although I know he won't appreciate me putting this in print but I feel like he is almost drowning in the stress. He has the weight of starting up a new business and the financial stress on his shoulders...learning new laws and a new system...trying to make a name for himself....supporting his family, not being a burden on his parents. .. not letting his family down...watching his wife battle cancer...trying to find time for his family while working his butt off to make something of himself for his family. Trying to be strong for me. He amazes me more than he will ever know. His strength, his love, his determination know no bounds. He is human, he has those days where I want to kick him in the butt, those grumpy days when the stress is on him is like an anvil pulling him down to the bottom of the lake. I wish I could wave a wand and give him the support system that I have ....friends that would take him out and make him laugh and talk with him about what is bothering him....I threaten all the time to send a hate mail to the friends that I feel have let him down...those friends that owe him to be there for him....because he cared and loved them enough to be there for them. He has asked me not to, so I won't but I can't be silent. So hopefully he will understand I am saying this here instead of singling people out...because he deserves better...he deserves support....he deserves friends to lean on when times are tough...because he is that kind of friend. I lean on him so hard sometimes I am afraid he will break, yet he just loves me in return.
I have not really told anyone yet, except my mom, Mark and my Sweeties. But the other day I got my genetic results and I tested positive for the BRAC genes (cancer gene). When I got the phone call in my head I leaned against Mark and cried. But in person I realized it was stupid...I always thought I had the gene...the doctors and counselors have said with me getting cancer so young, my mom getting it young (40's) and my grandmother getting it young that chances were great it was heredity. So why should I be upset and surprised. But the truth is, I wasn't upset by it because I figured I would get a double mastectomy and my ovaries removed and I can watch my grandchildren grow up without looking over my shoulder. But after doing research I have learned that I am at risk for a lot of different cancers....( pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, gallbladder and bile duct cancer, melanoma, pancreatic cancer and early-onset prostate cancer.....http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA). So I will always be looking over my shoulder...always have to be diligent in my healthcare. I will always worry about my kids having to watch me go through this all over again...always have to worry about not watching them grow up, not getting to see my grandchildren....not getting to see what my children become. But let's not forget this also means I could of passed this gene on to Blake and Maddie...if they don't come up with a cure they will always have to be looking over their shoulders too....waiting to see if they get cancer too. This all sits on my chest like a brick...I have random anxiety attacks just worrying about it all. I know I will adjust after it all sinks in, I know there have been people in my life who have been through worse. . . but the brick still sits there randomly getting heavier and making it hard to breath....it is this stress that makes me so grateful to have the support system I have. To have my family, my friends and even random strangers with hugs (and a lady in target kissed me) and words of wisdom.
How can I not beat this with you all by my side? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Today was Maddie's 4th birthday party.
I have become obsessed with making sure their parties are perfect...there has to be a theme and we have to stick to the theme...every thing should stick to the theme. Last year I wore myself ragged with Maddie's pink princess theme, making candies, cookies and all kinds of foods in pink, doing face painting and theme pictures....I was so worried about it being perfect I never stopped to enjoy it, it was over before I realized it and there were not even that many pictures to look back on. Maddie still tells me today how much fun that party was and talks about the games and food...so at least there is that.
This year when we were shopping for Blake's birthday she saw a pack of pinkalicious napkins in the 25 cent bin...so she decided we HAD to get those napkins and have a pinkalicious party. Maddie's only other requirements were everyone had to wear pink, there needed to be a pinata (found a pinkalicious one), and a pin the tail on the donkey (never found one and had no time to make one...thankfully they played it at her class birthday party)...sounds easy....throw in some food and you have a party. Ha ha ha, how nieve you are. That can't be all there is, oh no....there has to be pink everything, lots of girl decorations (the kind that take forever to hang), goodie bags, Maddie and I have to paint our nails pink, find pink clothes (I searched high and low for something pink for Blake...alas he had to make due with pink nails) and of course pinkalicious cupcakes! So on top of chemo, two kids, household chores, Maddie's school, Blake's classes and whatever else comes up in a week now I have crafts to make, things to put together and bake....man I am stupid.
I woke up and hit the ground running....I cut veggies, made dips, loaded the car, got the kids dressed...actually found time to shower and get myself dressed...and got Blake and I out the door to go set up by 8:55am. Of course, I had to stop at the store because I didn't have enough icing to ice all the cupcakes and forgot candles. . . .but we still made to the park to set up by 9:30.
After a lot of panicking, anxiety, rushing to get things together ....and a LOT of hot air from Laura (she was blowing up my balloons)...the place looked as good as it was going to get and guests were arriving.
I have to say that when I saw Mark's car pull up I felt like I was letting Maddie down...I felt like things did not look magical enough or perfect enough....but she did not feel the same way...her face lit up, it seemed as if to her it was all magical. It had to be....it was in the 40's, raining off and on, windy and so cold...but she ran around as happy as a lark. I don't think she even realized the weather was bad, she was so happy. She was also thrilled that her wish of a pinata was filled. She had so much fun. She probably would of had just as much fun if I had not stressed so much about it...but that fact can't be proven. ;) However, I have to say just watching her enjoy her birthday and every small detail made me relax and enjoy it too (when I was not freezing). Maybe next year I will relax a little more....no promises.
(A special thank you to Laura for coming out early in the cold, blowing up a zillion balloons and balancing my craziness. I love you!)