This weekend was probably one of the hardest so far. I spent 3 beautiful sunny days on the couch and in the bathroom, super sick from side effects. I had my pity party. I felt sorry for myself. I got angry. There were tears. I just wanted it to be over. I wanted to tell my doctor, “I don’t care, I need a break”.
Now that my medication is working and I’m starting to feel better… yes, I still want all of this to be over, but now I have a new respect for people suffering from chronic pain. I can see how different my attitude was with just a tiny taste of what so many people deal with, daily, no end in site. You don’t feel like eating or talking. You just want to keep your eyes closed… feel numb. It’s so isolating. You can quickly fall down the slippery slope of sad thoughts… get mad… be jealous of other smiley happy healthy people having fun outside, on instagram, with their hair. Ha! Jealous of people working… I’ve had to cancel or reschedule so many shoots. I was even envious of other babies who weren’t waking up 4 times a night. “Hello, I have cancer!? Shouldn’t MY baby sleep all night long!?” The negative thoughts lead to more. They build and build… and spiral down.. and that was in just 3 days.
I got so mad at the TIME this cancer was taking away, such a waste. I started adding up the hours and days and months I’ve spent driving to treatments, sitting in that chair, laying in that machine. It’s SO much easier to have a good attitude when the treatments aren’t that bad… when I’m not hurting and missing out. Now that I have the rose colored glasses back on, of course, I feel SO thankful for the TIME these treatments are GIVING to me, to my life. I’m so incredibly grateful.
Just two weeks ago, another OBGYN who heard my story was shocked at how they found my tumor. She said, ‘you know there aren’t tests or pap smears for your type of cancer? It is SO RARE to find Small Cell this early! Usually it’s at stage III or IV, found because there are symptoms and it’s almost too late to contain! It’s a miracle they found it when they did!’ My sister and I both got chills when she said this. I needed that reminder. It IS a miracle. Thank you, God.
I hesitate even mentioning my little sad pity party, but I think it’s fair to be real. I have to share the hard parts, too. This stuff is no joke. It’s hard. Add on building a house and having a 4 month old. I really don’t understand how we’re doing it. WE are not. It’s 100% God. There is just no way we could handle this on our own. We try to not think too long about how hard it is. We both easily get so overwhelmed. Even though I felt miserable, I still got to lay on my comfortable couch and nap and watch movies while my mom, sisters and sweet husband cared for Eva. I have my beautiful baby. I still got to take that cute baby in her Easter dress to church and watch my nieces and nephew hunt eggs in the rain. And you know what, I don’t even miss my hair that much. I can get ready in minutes. It’s so easy to just pop on an already blow-dried hair do or scarf. I actually love it! On what I think is my very hardest day, I’m still so unbelievably blessed. So stop your whining, Shea, and push on.
I’ll get back to celebrating… I reached the halfway point this past week! WE reached the halfway point, with all the amazing caring people who are supporting and loving us through this. Thank you, God for each one of them; for the meals, the cards, the rides to chemo… for helping build our house, for holding our baby.
In honor of the halfway mark, here are some amazing images to give a glimpse of a typical treatment day. Chemo + Radiation, courtesy of my dear friend, Sarah Gilliam.
The horrible port + needle. Having to be punctured in my chest by that thing is by far the worst part.
This was day two of my 3rd round of chemo. Then we walked down the many halls, several elevators towards the next appointment, radiation. We stopped in the pretty light to take a few photos, of course.
Then to the basement for radiation… this was day number 15 of 25. The sweet techs let Sarah come back to document, but were hesitant to be photographed. ;)
LARKIN and SUSAN, I love you! Thank you for the warm blankets and for making me laugh, distracting me from what’s really going on.
They line up my marks with each treatment, they place this crazy thing over my hips so I can’t move. They close the thick barrier door and watch from outside. I lay there for about 10 minutes as this massive machine moves around me.
I don’t feel anything during the treatments, I usually take a nap or pray. I pray for God to protect my organs and all my parts down there from the side effects. I pray for this to be over soon. I pray to be healed. I pray for the sweet people who are loving me and carrying me through this. I say thank you.