sent you an e-mail via this website/request to exchange e-mails, with my contact info. If you don't get it, let me know! And yes, I was looking for an e-mail all over your post and couldn't find it - thanks for the second post. Margaret
This post is in response to my last post. It appears as though it redacted the email address I planned to share with you. Nevertheless, if you wish to email me, you may do so from my blog.
Take care my friend...
Hello Margaret, I think of you often as well and hope you find some comfort in my response. I truly understand how devastating the reality of having and treatment for cancer feels. I am not a religious person who goes to church weekly but I am one who is in touch with her spiritual connection to God. Therefore, I can only say to you, "Let Go and Let God". How do I "let God"?
1. I've started praying on my knees nightly! I've always said my prayers and given thanks...never missing grace over a meal but at times forgetting to pray at night. Now, I meditate to medicate and believe I am healed.
2. I kept one lock of my hair, bagged it, and stored it away. I know my hair will grow back and I need the color shade for later reference! I wear my wig to work but remove it as soon as I get home. Once home, after work, and on weekends, I prefer a bandanna.
3. I allow myself to feel every emotion and realize its okay to feel whatever emotion I am feeling at the time. However, I don't allow myself to stay in a dark place/emotion. I do things to get "re-centered". Recently, I "re-centered" by visiting my father's grave when I was advised to avoid the Black Friday large crowds (white blood cell count is critically low). I also put work aside one evening and went bowling with friends instead.
4. I allow myself to show more love to myself and to others. I plan to live my life to the fullest in every respect possible. I push myself to go to the gym to maintain my weight. (The steroids make me dream about food!) I take my dog for long walks instead of just letting her play in my backyard. I am trying to recruit friends to skydive with me in the Spring. (I've already done the hang gliding years ago.) I'd love to hear any other suggestions you can share! I've connected with half-siblings I refused to let into my life 20 years ago.
As for feeling the tumor in my chest. I can only explain it as a fullness, like the lump/knot you feel in your chest when you want to cry but can't. I feel this because the thymus tumor, initially the size of a small peach, is located near/around my heart/valves and other organs in that area. I was told that fullness would go away after the chemo and it did. However, I've felt the feeling just before the second treatment and I feel it again. While the feeling goes away almost immediately, it creeps back. I am looking forward to when I don't feel that feeling again.
I look forward to hearing from you again. Feel free to email me ([email redacted]) if there is a time you prefer to communicate directly with me instead of posting here.
Hello Beverly, thanks for making the connection. I don't think I received notice of your answer to my question. I am scheduled for my 3rd of 6 R-CHOP treatments this Friday. I am interested to hear more about your experiences. I also have radiation scheduled after my last chemo session. It is good to hear your mass is shrinking. I hope things continue to go well for you.
Hi Margaret, I am glad you are okay...I was worried about you! Although you didn't have to explain your "hiatus", I am glad that you did as it made me think about how I may respond as I get closer to completing my 3rd and 4th treatment. I really haven't thought much about the next PET scan. Maybe its because I can still feel the presence of the tumor in my chest. After a treatment, the feeling goes away but comes back the week of the next treatment. Because of this, I know I have to continue treatments to be followed by radiation to rid my body of the cancer.
Like you, I was very close with my dad...definitely a dad's girl. My father passed away 10 years ago.
Overall, I am doing well. However, my WBC today was "critically low". So, I followed the nurse recommendations to avoid the shopping crowds today. The Prednisone has greatly increased my appetite as well. I've gained about five pounds and munch on snacks all the time! I am slowly working my way back to the gym which feels good even though my regiment is only one hour.
I hope and pray for the best for you...glad to hear your Turkey meal was great!
I think of you often. As Monday-Tuesday approaches I have such mixed feelings. I don't dare to hope I'm in remission, but at the same time I can't bear the thought of any more chemotherapy. I want my hair back!!!! I had a hard weekend emotionally. I got severely depressed. I was wandering around a flea market with my husband, wearing a baggy sweatshirt, jeans I can no longer zip shut, and this old fuzzy hat pulled down low. Feweling so unattractive. I saw this gorgeous woman with wild curly hair and I just sort of lost it.....my husband says he prefers me chubby (he's Latino and they like chubby women) but I really struggled this weekend, which is unusual for me. Now I'm feeling better - you see, I'm responding to your e-mail! It's only been about four months for me on this journey. When I feel pain in my legs I freak out. I think the cancer might be "back" (it had gone to my knees) and I start imagining all sorts of stuff. I was very interested in your comment about feeling the tumor "come back" in your chest. You must be very in touch with your physical sense, and I trust your intuition. I have felt the cancer slide away; I didn't used to be able to kneel on any hard surfaces - way too painful - that's how I knew it was in my bones - and then it completely dissipated. I feel as if I'm on a stage with one spotlight, all focused on CANCER, and I have to work really hard to concentrate on other things. Thanks for listening to my rambling - they are just honest thoughts on a day when I am so tired of having NHL. Hope your blood count is up and you are in a good place. Margaret
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope all is well with you and your children.
Hello Margaret, its been some time since we've communicated. I hope you are doing well. Please let me know how you are doing.
You've been on my mind. I feel I abandoned you and and this site for awhile. After my 4th chemo I went to the Grand Canyon for three days. It is one of my favorite spots in the entire world. A deeply spiritual place. I'm still looking for the reason in all of what's happened to me, or the purpose. Felt my father there alot. He's passed on , but I was extremely close to him, and several events/things have occured since my diagnosis that make me realize he is "up there" looking after me. The kinds of things you can't explain, but just show he is still around. I have to admit with the upcoming PET scheduled for 12/5 I am a jangle of nerves. I'll find out that week what's in store for me. I want to believe the cancer is all gone, but I don't want to walk in here expecting that, and then be told there's more chemo. I think I shut the door on this website to try and not deal with the reality of what might be down the road. I would love to end 2011 with no more chemo. So, I apologize for disappearing for awhile. I am still very much here. How are you? Any side effects? Mine generally hit the second week. The first I'm fine. The second I usually get a bad cold, and definitely am more tired. My weight balloons up the first week with those ##*** steroids, and then I lose it, ounce by painful ounce! Ugh! I have gained 10 pounds since starting chemo. I thought I'd finally weigh what I did in my twenties......ha ha ha. Thanks for giving me a little nudge and getting me to respond. I really did enjoy exchanging posts with you, since we are on very parallel medical journeys. All the best, and Happy Thanksgiving! I cooked the turkey this year and it was amazing. Margaret