Diamonds are a girls best friend.

I am the mother of 3 amazing kids. All are different. amazing human beings, and because of them, I know I did something right. 

However this blog is for my boys. I am the PROUD mother of two athletic boys. They seem to do well in any sport they play. Ive been blessed to watch them be a team player, a team leader and a team supporter.  We have seen our share of defeat as well as our share of victories. While the victories are great, I have found that the losses seem to add more to their character. Losing is never fun, but its how they handle it that makes me think they are going to be okay. I tell my boys its easy to be a sore loser, but its even harder to be a good winner.  

Of all the sports my sons have  played , baseball by far has and will always be my favorite. Partially because I played #softball all my life, and stopped 3 months into my last pregnacy. I know the game,, However I must admit that it wasnt until my son became more competitive, that I never took the time to realize how strategic baseball can be.  I thought hit the ball, and run, right?  Sacrifice flies? intentional walks, knowing the lineup, batters weaknesses, batters base speed, and the list goes on and on. 

I have spent countless hours at the fields, and I have no regrets. As I am that crazy mom. Ive been known to argue with the Blue, and as of today he has never changed a call. I do the wave when my boys have their ESPN highlight moments.  I cheer, i groan and from time to time you can hear me yell “COME ON” in a very frustrated tone. There was a time, that when my boy would bat, that I couldnt bear to watch. I would walk the fields due to my anxiety. There he would be standing all alone at the plate, and i could do nothing to help him. He stood all alone. There would be pressure situations, games riding on the outcome of his at bat,, and there was nothing , nothing I could do, but watch and pray, and pray I did….(but mostly I closed my eyes and would listen for the PING when the bat hits the ball at the sweetspot.)

Ive seen the look of defeat on his face, when the blue yells Strike three, (which by the way, do they have to yell when they say strike through, I imagine it would be fairly obvious once the batter walks off the field, hey blue no need to humiliate the kid. Ive seen his look of pure hapiness, when he turns two, or gets that hit, the rbis on his record… yes Ive seen it all. 

My boys love the game, and Im glad they do, but what I love even more, is that they are humble, hardworking team players and I couldnt be more proud. 

In this instance i taught my boys that is absolutely okay to hit and steal. 

Tomorrow:

Something to look forward to.

Tomorrow : Full of possiblities

Tomorrow, I take from my gray cloud, the silver lining.   Tomorrow, I will show my kids that no matter the battle, show up, look up and never give up. Tomorrow, I will say goodbye to a wonderful team of healthcare providers who held my hand through this entire process. Tomorrow, we do not know what may come, tomorrow we do not know what God has planned, but what I do know is, he has given me the strength, to get through this difficult time. Tomorrow, I will have climbed my Everest thus far. Tomorrow, I will be able to say goodbye to something that tried to break me, but ultimately made me stronger.  Tomorrow, I will walk out with my head held high surrounded by those who were my reminders of why I need to keep fighting.  Tomorrow I will be able to say I am here, I live I love, I made a difference.

 So to you tomorrow, I say,”Ill see ya Tomorrow”

Dedicated to my family that showed me they were there. It was through their prayers and kind thoughts, I was able to get through this, To my friends that made me laugh even through my tears. I am  thankful. 

To God. I am nothing but thankful.

This entry was posted on April 1, 2015. 1 Comment

3 to go:

Radiation is a scary thing , no doubt about it. Fear of the unknown? How will my body adjust to this radiation invading this unwanted tumor,  but its also invading those healthy cells surrounding it. Thus far, my lacrimal gland has been compromised. The tumor really is uncomfortably close to my optic nerve. This gland is responsible for producing tears, keeping the eye moist, well now I have become dependant on eye drops, which I seem to be dropping drops every hour.  So, now when I cry, I cry just from one eye, and no this does not mean that I only have half the emotions, cause heaven knows every woman  when experiencing emotions there is no such thing as half, we go in full force, full throttle and at full speed and we will take out anything and anyone in our way. Its a gift we women carry.

3 to go. I would do a cartwheel here in the lobby, but I fear it may not be as well received as I see it in my head. Wont stop me from doing one on my last day though (note to self do not wear a skirt) . What baffles me a little bit , is that now that its coming to an end, Im experiencing sadness. Ive actually have enjoyed coming here, not so much for the treatment (Im not crazy after all), but for the people Ive encountered. .. My tech Alex, my Russian tech, makes the commute, treatment worth while. At first glance, he can be quite intimidating, add in his Russian accent and you are all but hiding in the corner. Then his approach, a warm smile , a funny perspective on life. I was lucly enough to have Alex as my tech for my first week of treatment. The scariest week no doubt. This is when you are being made aware of what is going on. However I became spoiled with Alex and Steven as my techs. Each morning, thier banter made me laugh. Their interactions, with eachother and sometimes throwing me in the mix, made my treatments, dare I say it, Fun. I found mysefl laughing which isnt easy to do while wearing a mask that is clamped to the table. 

I must say all the techs here have been wonderful, and have made it more than bearable. 

Thank you USC Medical Radiation Team!

You can find me on the observation deck.

Well I did it. I shared my link with family and friends, I have reached out to those I love and trust. While I have shared my journey through pictures on instagram, and to those who have kept in touch during this time, I find comfort in jotting my thoughts down. I must admit that I must weed through my thoughts as some should not be shared, but I digress. 

I sit here again, in this lobby that has become all to familiar to me. Im watching people come in and out of their treatment.  Im trying to read their body language, some patients come in with an overwhelming will to fight. Their energy is contagious and one cant help but smile, when you gaze upon them. Without them knowing, these people provide me with a strength and a feeling of  calm.  Then, on the opposite side of the spectrum, you have those, who seem to be here against their will. It seems that they are merely coming for treatment at the request of their families. They look tired, weak, and the look in their eyes I can only describe as blank  and lost and more obvious to me; scared. 

During the last 5 weeks, I have heard some incredible stories, the man, whose cancer has decided to reside in his throat , making his speech almost incomprehensible, and even though his ability to communicate is compromised, he tells more with his eyes than any person I have ever met. His eyes shine and are engaging, and you cant help but want to be in his presence.   Then, theres Lydia. a 3 time Breast Cancer survivor. First diagnosed in 1976, she went into remisssion and it returned in 1989. After having 2 surgeries, the cancer decided to come back. She is in her mid 70’s and has more energy than that of a person not going through this. She walks in with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. Shes here for radiation, or as she puts it a mild inconvenience,, so . I had to ask, “how do you stay so strong?”. She smiled sweetly and responded, God has never given me anything I cant handle, and he always walks beside me”.   

I  watch, families come in and they too suffer, trying to put on a front for those going through the treatment. Trying to be strong, when they too are breaking and are afraid. They sit and watch their loved one endure so many different treatments, and in my own experience cry in secret.  Communication is the key, hold onto what you know to be true.  

Thanks to my sister Mary, she posted something on line for me : 

You’ve only got three choices in life:

Give up, give in, or give it all you’ve got.  

Well, Im no where close to be done, so Im going to give it ALL IVE GOT

28 days. 

Today is Wednesday March 25, 2015. I sit here in the lobby of the radiation unit at USC Medical center. I sit here accompanied by people whose battles are just as or moreso challenging than that of my own. I find myself counting blessings as I learn of the crosses they bear. I sit here in awe, as I realize that after today, I will only have 5 more treatments to go. 

This particular chapter of my life began on February 23, 2015. This was the day of my first treatment. I have a wonderful doctor , who unlike many others did not skip the day they taught compassion at medical school. This Dr. I believe took his oathe seriously and I am extremely grateful for this. 

I must admit, I tossed and turned with the thought of radiation. I knew this was inevitable and something I would have to endure at some point in my life.  This brain tumor that decided to take up residence in my head has demanded to be dealt with, however I dont think it knew that it would be me who would be victorious and not him.  

Despite having this surgery almost a year ago , April 7th, is my cranniversary, Ive put this radiation off for quite sometime, however Im glad I did, because in doing so, my path lead me to USC. I didnt settle this time, I didnt want my treatment at the hospital my insurance covered, I wanted a Dr. that wanted to help and I found that comfort here at USC, which I find quite odd as I am BRUIN fan…(shhh dont tell my dr.) 

On the day of my first treatment, I was handed a list of my scheduled appts. I looked at it for a while , there it was in front of me , 28 days, 28 treatments. At this very moment I was submerged with feelings of apprehension, anxiety and the fear of the unknown. I thought 28 days, but I was told by many Drs that the tumor was very small. In my rational way of thinking 28 treatments is for  big tumor, or for a patient whose tumor is malignant, as mine IS benign. Still focused on this list, the thoughts were running rampant in mind. 28 days of fatigue, 28 days of anxiety as I wash my hair, 28 days of waking up to hair on my pillow, 28 days to a metal taste in my mouth, 28 days of driving in traffic, 28 days of trying not to show signs of someone who is sick, 28 days of exhaustion, 28 days of driving myself crazy, which in hindsight I brought upon myself.

I sit here with 5 treatments in front of me, and while I have experienced some of the side effects listed above, it hasn’t been that bad, truthfully, I could do without the commute,but for now that has been the one thing I’ve had to get used to. The hair loss as of today hasn’t been that bad, (keep in mind  I am a girl so vanity does have a staple in my genetic makeup), but I’m dealing with it, while those around me are exhausted by my constantly asking , “do I look bald?” ‘ , only to be answered with the rolling of their eyes….

Even with all of the anxiety, and fear, I’m pretty amazed that I have gotten this far, and I still have some drive and fight left. 

This Tumor Can Kiss My Mass…..Because I MATTER (little brain humor)

This entry was posted on March 25, 2015. 2 Comments

Devotionals

Like most people, we turn to God in desperation. While I believe in God and a power that can reach the very depth of my soul. I pray daily, but it has become routine for me. We go through the motions and our prayers are pretty much set on repeat. Enter the fear of the unknown, while I pray daily and Thank God for my blessings, my prayers have changed. I have gone from saying thanks to asking for help.
Funny who God puts in our path. He really does have a plan. I have seen for myself that it is not coincidence that the encounters, chance meetings take place for a reason.
One of these lovely people has the kindest spirit. Since learning of my trials, she has been making it a point to send me devotionals in the morning, so that I can start my day. When I visit her, she talks with me, she has even prayed for me. What I find amazing, is that the devotionals she sends me, seem to fit in perfectly with what Im going through. It is as though God is saying, look I see you, and Im letting you know I see you, since you, yourself are so focused on standing on the edge of self pity. I must be hard headed though, because God hasnt been sending one sign, he sends two or three, until I get the point . Last night, which was my day before I start radiation, and I was wallowing in my own self pity, making those around me uncomfortable. I yelled out to Jesus, HELP ME. Please.
I went to bed feeling defeated, sad and miserable. Yet this mornings #devotional starts off with, “Be On Guard against the pit of self-pity, when you are weary or unwell, his demonic trap is the greatest danger you face. Live in the Light of My Presence by fixing your eyes on Me. Then you will be able to run with endurance the race that is set before you, without stumbling or falling…

After reading this, all I could do was look up and Say, You’re good.
#Godisgood

This entry was posted on February 24, 2015. 1 Comment

About to enter unchartered waters….

Today pretty much mirrors every past Saturday in my life. Busy with errands, running around with the kids, anticipating my sons 7th birthday on Monday the 23rd. However, this Saturday has a dark cloud hanging over it. This very Monday I begin my radiation journey. While I understand that this is necessary for my healing and for the overall betterment of my general health, I am not looking forward to it. The fear of the unknown. How will my body react? How kind of undertaking will my emotional make up go through. What about my family, will they be handle it? What about their needs? I fear that my many roles will be afftected and I will falter in my roles? I understand that everyone is different. My reaction to the side effects will not mirror anyone elses nor will theirs mirror mine, however I have found out that seeking out people who have laid the path before me has helped me get a better understanding of what I am in for.

I have this image of who I am, and I don’t see what others see. I dont see the strong woman they tell me over and over I am. I look in the mirror and I dont see it. I see a scared, weak woman, whose about to embark on a journey that will be in the hands of strangers. Albeit strangers who Im hoping have my best health and intentions in mind. I am not the most trusting person (one of my many flaws) and having to surrender my trust is a difficult thing for me to do.

I find myself in the middle of my trial. This journey began 3 years ago, and along the way I have encountered some wonderful people who have been very supportive throughout this .  I just want this journey to quickly come to an end.