August 23, 2017
Time and memory are funny things, they are also subjective and at times fleeting. Today I decided to start a journal to write in every day so that I can chronicle all the events that have been happening that are magical, worrisome, blissful and just plain interesting, at least to me. As I’ve said before, chemo brain is very real and I have developed a newfound empathy for those with dementia (in all its forms), brain injuries and menopause 🙂
As I look back at my calendar to jog my memory, these are the highlights of the past 5 weeks. I share this with you to highlight, I hope, how truly important it is that we take in every experience, every feeling, every nuance of life because life is truly a gift. I, for one, don’t want to waste a single moment.
July was highlighted by not only my one year cancerversary (July 19 was the day I became ‘aware’ that something was residing in my lung) but I also went with my dear friends Shawn, Susan and Salli to Shawn’s cabin near Fairplay. Every year we pick an art project that all of us can participate in. I am by far the least visually artistic amongst the group so I have become an expert at watching and mimicking. I love this time spent with my girls and this year was especially poignant as last year during this magical time together, the C word was only a possibility.
August 6th was my 59th Birthday. My 58th last year was memorable to be sure because of its shock value as I was officially diagnosed on August 4. Quite honestly, we weren’t sure I would be celebrating 59. My parents helped celebrate the big day with us this year as they were flying out of DIA for a long awaited trip to Scotland. My wonderful ‘broken knee sister’ Linda picked them up in Glasgow for a day of visiting Pollock family sites, tea and scones and all around fun before they joined their tour group. They fell in love with Linda just like I did when 7 of us gathered from around the world and took Chicago by storm in October of 2015 to celebrate recovering from our broken knees. This October, Vicki, Tammy, Karen and Barb will be coming to Denver for more ‘shenanigans’. Unfortunately, Linda will not be joining us but we plan on taking her with us via FaceTime on our adventures.
August 8 was Cyramza/Taxotere infusion #6. I am VERY happy to report that my tumor markers remain in the normal range and are trending down. WHOOP! Side note: for the first time since I began chemo treatments last November, my white blood counts were low. Vignesh lowered the Taxotere by 20% fully expecting my counts to improve. I have to admit that with everything that was going on, I let taking my supplements slip and I believe that played a role in my low counts.
August 19th found Stacey and I at the ‘Dinner in White’, a fundraiser that supports the University of Colorado Cancer Center. (More pictures) It was a truly beautiful event that my new friend Lisa (fellow lung cancer survivor) invited us to. We ate our picnic dinner, drank a glass of wine, listened to phenomenal speakers, and danced…and danced…and danced.
August 20th was the Race 4 Research hosted by the Cancer League of Colorado. This was my 6th year of participating in this event. In the past, I lovingly participated in honor of my friend Kaylene who passed this Spring. This year, Stacy and Jay Montgomery, owners of the local Got Junk and You Move Me franchises sponsored a placard for me along the Miracle Mile. Stacy has been my trainer for several years and she, Jay and Kaylene (Stacy’s Mom), are past clients of mine who have become dear friends. I will take this opportunity to say once again how truly blessed I am to have such amazingly loving and supportive people in my life!
Jim and I said goodby last week to our nephew Tyler who has been living with us for the past 4 months. He didn’t go far, just a few miles away, but we absolutely loved having him here and will miss his smiling face and loving spirit. He begins his last rotation before taking his boards and officially graduating with his doctorate in Physical Therapy. Life continues to offer us opportunities to give and receive love. I’m going to miss cooking for him and receiving my 10 second hug every day.
My parents arrived back from their Scotland adventure last Wednesday. I drove them back to Fruita yesterday, ate pizza and watched a Scotland slide show with my sisters and two of my beautiful Aunts stopped by for hugs! I drove back today, music blasting, minimal traffic, beautiful scenery, enjoying being alive!
And we arrive in the present moment where I have been sitting at my computer doing some research for a radio interview I was asked to do by the ‘Free to Breathe’ folks. I agreed to the interview, which takes place tomorrow morning, to plug the Free to Breathe walk/run on October 1. This was what I was sent from the media company: Listen to Colorado Conversation every Sunday at 6am on Mix 100, 7:30am & 11pm on Kool 105 and 11:30pm on 92.5 The Wolf!
This Friday morning is PET/CT day and I am asking for your good thoughts and prayers. I have been feeling great! Chemo side effects still occasionally interrupt my life. My hair is growing back, hallelujah, and I’m glad that I have my wig for those big events. Taste is still next to nil, I am getting moon face, and Vignesh and I are keeping our eyes on the horizon for new and better treatments should I need them. I find that the days before/after scans can be somewhat anxiety ridden so we are going to Steamboat to see Lene and Jason and generally enjoy some extra special time with our kids. My belief is strong, my body is strong, my relationships are strong. I am loved. I love. I am blessed!