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Birthdays are special

Happy 12th birthday Zander. I am so very proud of the person you are. You are compassionate beyond your age. You love so deeply. You have trust in people and see the good in everything. You have a sweet, pure heart. I hope that regardless what life throws at you, you will always choose to see the good.

I’m sorry for not being able to give you the best birthday ever. You deserve the best, every year. Maybe tomorrow we can have the Wimpy breakfast you are supposed to have on your birthday. Maybe I feel better tomorrow.

For now though, sorry that you had to walk into our room and see me sleeping most of your birthday. I found the photo on your phone and I wonder how many times did you walk in to check on me.

Happy birthday sweet boy.

Next year, I promise.

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3rd chemo today

I have said from the start that I want to write about my experience as something to read back on but also to just maybe help someone who has to go through this unknown.

I’ve been strong. I am still strong. I’m not falling into the depths of despair. No need to send help. I am feeling down though. It’s only the start but I just feel robbed.

I feel robbed of time. I can’t remember when last I’ve been able to just watch the kids swim. Zander used to insist. Now he doesn’t even ask. I don’t do things for the children anymore. They do things for me. I have so much work to do. I need time to work and time to rest at the same time. I don’t know how I am going to cope with added school activities. So thankful we live close to school.

My body is giving me a little f#ck you today. I don’t blame it. I mean it’s putting up a good fight and all.

Tomorrow will be better.

2017

I could say it was a crap year because let’s face it, it wasn’t perfect.

However it wasn’t all bad and that’s what I prefer to focus on. Bad things tend to bring people together. I connected with family that I haven’t really spoken to in years. I got to see my soul mate for the first time in years. My relationship with Tommie is better than it has been for a long time. I have received such special care and love from family and friends. My children have always been helpful but now they have stepped up in an awesome way.

Cancer has taken a lot but has also given appreciation, love and thankfulness. I am still here. I still get to say, I love you.

This year has not just been about cancer though.

Quintus and his 1st hockey team did exceptionally well, making it through to the north west finals. Jason and Zander has impressed me at every gala. The hard work they put in is something I appreciate. Kyla enjoyed her hockey season and seems to enjoy swimming now as well. School has gone well. Good friendships were made. My children are happy and proper and for that I am thankful.

I have amazing parents that have walked every step of my cancer journey with me, even with my mom having been diagnosed with cancer as well. Come to think of this, I am thankful that my cancer helped with early diagnosis of my mom’s cancer.

I am hugely thankful that my Bella is still with us.

Many things to be thankful for. It has not been a bad year. We are still blessed and together.

Happy new year to all my friends and family.

2nd Chemo

I knew what to expect. Which made the thought of the second chemo much easier. It’s just that it takes so long!

We drive into the parking lot, when Tommie said “There is Dion.” Now, Tommie knows everyone in town, or so it feels. Dion, could be any one of the many people he knows. As I was focused on getting everything in the bag for chemo, I didn’t really listen. Then he said “There’s Christel!”, that’s when I listened.

I got out of the car and there was Stel and Dion. How? We live 200km away… Here just to keep me company during chemo? I was sooo happy!

We just sat down and caught up with news from their new Northern Cape friends, when Liesl came in with coffee! More of us! By the time I was settled with drips and all, my mom, Dad and Jason also joined us.

There was not a moment that I was alone. Not a moment to think how much longer it will take the poisen to flow through my veins.

We laughed, entertained nurses and hopefully put a smile on some patients faces.

Stel, Dion… Thank you. Your support and the visit all day. You kept me smiling. Thank you for that.

Stel, thank you for being my person.

So my hair is falling out

I cut my hair a couple of days before I started chemo. I like to have enough knowledge when something unexpected happens in life, so I read a lot. Almost all cancer patients that gets (got) the same chemo as I do advised cutting your hair short.

No-one mentioned that your scalp will hurt when your hair starts falling out. Nobody. Not my oncologist, the nurses… I thought that maybe somehow I got sunburned at the gala without realizing. That’s how painful it is.

I turned to Google and I am not alone. In different degrees, it hurts when your hair falls out. I cannot even lie on my back because the back of my head is the worst. Not that the rest isn’t painful, it is just not as bad.

Also, it is starting to look horrible. I suppose by this weekend it will all have fallen out.

#cancersucks

Some days are better than others though. Today might turn into a great one. Who knows.
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I’m gonna love you through it

I remember when I went for my mammogram and sonar thereafter. I was waiting in the doctor’s office. Alone. I didn’t have to be alone. My mom badly wanted to go with me but I wanted to face it alone. I remember sending my mom a message “The doctor thinks it is cancer”

I cannot image what she must have thought. She wanted to drive to the doctor’s office but I said that I was fine.

I remember going for the biopsy. Alone. I didn’t want anyone else to worry or go through that.

I went back to the doctor when he got the results. Alone.

Again, not because I had to but because I handle tough situations like that.

I was alone when the doctor said he had bad news. That it was cancer. I was calm. Listened to his thoughts and what we needed to do next.

I walked out of his office and saw my dad in the waiting room. We know that lady who works there and he phoned her to hear what the results were.

All of a sudden I wasn’t alone and I didn’t want to be. My daddy was there.

I’m a proud person and I don’t think that is such a good personality trait to have. I needed to see my dad there.

I have since learned that so many people want to be there. So many people want to love me through this.

Tommie takes time of from work to go to appointments with me. The children go way and beyond. My brothers, sisters (in-law). My friends. People who I hardly knew have fast become close friends. People want to help.

They want to love me through this.

https://youtu.be/ZYNOXRifXKQ

I heard this song and cried. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer about two weeks ago.

I want to love her through this. I understand now how important it is for me to allow others to love me through this.

Mom, I can’t fix this. I can’t make it better. I can’t take it away but I can love you through this.

First chemo session

Honestly? I was nervous. Nervous because I couldn’t feel the chemo port and thought they wouldn’t be able to use it. Nervous of the unknown.

I handle such situations with humor. I had that oncology in giggles most of the time. Except when someone was asleep and there was this one old Oom that snored. That calm snore. I wanted to sleep with him!

First they put a plaster over the port that numbs the area. Takes 40 minutes and gave us time to visit family in hospital. I went back and felt close to zero pain when she put needle in. Felt absolutely nothing when she flused it and nothing while getting the chemo. I had my hands available and comfortable without an IV. It was great.

My body handled it like a pro. So far, so good. Little bit nauseous but I can cope with it.

I was so worried that I made a mistake by getting the port. I thankfully did not. It worked so well.