The Good: My 9-year-old son won his school’s third grade Spelling Bee! He and I studied three times a day for almost two weeks. There were over 280 words on his list. We went through them five times and then reviewed the words he had trouble with. He was very confident as he left for school. I went to watch and was so very proud when they announced my son, the Winner. It came down to four students and they all kept spelling the words correctly. They ended up getting a few words not on the list that they had studied during the school year. All four missed the same word and then had a new word: Antarctica. The first one spelled it right but was told it wasn't correct. The next two spelled it wrong, then my son came up and spelled it correctly, with a capital “A” at the beginning. During the course of the Bee, that happened one other time. Glad my son was paying attention.
Next Good: My 14-year-old was picked for an all-star baseball team. We thought the season was over. Truthfully, with the heat, it was best for me. His baseball pants had already been disposed of in the garbage. Long story made short, he’s excited. It will be fun and exhausting. Practice every night except Monday. Gulf Breeze High has graduation. Moral for my children to learn: Work hard enough at something, in the end, you are rewarded with pride, self-confidence and self-satisfaction.
The Unmentionables: There are two subjects I rarely talk about during my treatment process, weight gain and sleep.
Sleep: During the week when I need to get up early for the kids, I take a Xanax to help me sleep. It helps me shut the brain down from thinking too much when I should be sleeping. Usually on the weekends, I try not to take one. Saturday night I went to bed early enough to get up for 8:15 mass. I did not take a Xanax and was not able to fall asleep. I tossed for almost two hours. I ended up taking one but it took another half hour or so to fall asleep. I was upset and had a few tears in my eyes. I did make it to church and that made me feel better.
Weight gain: This is the one that bothers me the most. I feel chunky. The chemo meds, having a steroid chemical in them, didn't help. I became aware after my rings started getting tighter and were hard to remove. I now wear my wedding band on my necklace. Took a while to get use to; feels naked, just like some people say. The clothes still fit but not the way I like for them to. I will have to be especially careful during radiation not to lose weight, because it could make the treatment process change. Everything is marked and aligned according to my body size as it is now. I will be in a holding pattern for a longer time than I care for. The Herceptin treatment also adds to the problem.
But through all this, my main focus is getting better. I will do what is required of me and be thankful for the advancement of technology in the cure for cancer. My Faith will keep me strong and my Family will make me smile. Life is Good.
Surviving Step by Step