Travel with me if you will through my
phases “faces” of treatments thus far, leading to our newest “not so musical” debut.
We embraced Diagnosis and Chemo “head on” with Mommy as…
The CHEMO NINJA:
When my first surgery came, pain or no pain, we went in as we had in for all other treatments thus far…
Animal House/Belushi Style…
Ya know, “Thank you Sir, May I have another?!”
*Notice our matching togas? Practically twins! 😉
Without further adieu,
This is how the whole family is getting in on the action during my current phase of treatment.
We’ve formed our own family band, to literally
“THE RADIATORS 7.0”
(“The Radiators” was already taken, blah blah blah; There are 7 of us, sooo….)
(Snuggles – drummer; Sidekick – lead vocals;
Firecracker – Back up vocals; Hubbie – Jamaican steel drum;
The Dude – Back up Acoustic; Sunshine – Keyboard ;
Mommy/Buna – Lead Acoustic guitar)
We may not be lining up a whole lot of gigs necessarily, as “our sound” is still a work in progress, but “we look great!” Milli Vanilli pulled that off for a little while, right? I only have a few more weeks of this radiation business, we can fake it ’til we make it, I’m sure.
It’s all about the look.
As I mentioned in the beginning of all of this mumbo jumbo of my diagnosis, I didn’t want to get to stress myself out with googling, going on WebMD, stressing about the past or the future, etc. I won’t be naïve, either. I remain informed on the info that I need for the present, asking the people I trust most, and choosing to put my life in the doctors hands whom I trust most. I take excellent care of myself through my eating, exercise, and prayer. So after that… each new treatment is going to be as scary and as difficult as it simply just is. Sometimes there’s not too much you can change about it. It is what it is.
So what more can I do? Why not plan a new look for each day of this treatment? Chemo Ninja is just for my chemo appointments once a month. Radiation is every day for 6 weeks. That calls for waaaay more “looks”. Growing up in the theater, this just gives me a character to get into and take on each day, having fun with my fam (and the staff at MBP)! No need to stress over the radiation, it won’t make it go away. Therefore, we came up with a few of these:
(SIDENOTE: Before cancer, I COULD barely take a picture in a group without making a funky face to hide my insecurity, much less a selfie. Now, I just don’t care that much. Life is too short. This is clearly me just goofin off with just enough confidence now to post it. I assure you, no narcissism here, just a goofball playin dress up)
I mean, why not, right? I work part time in ministry, and in another side job as a costume designer and choreographer. Ministering to my family, dressing up as a different theme each day and making time for dance parties is what we live for. It only makes sense for me. If not, it’s just a whole lot of this…
Although it may be a closer to reality depiction (at least as close and detailed as what I’m willing to show here) of what its like every day as I wait with my scan card to go in… (dun dun dun) the machine. I prefer to keep my focus on the costumes. Wouldn’t you?
I dare not forget to…
…gather the best team of family, friends, and medical staff around me, ever. Check!
….pray with all I’ve got and get greedy to ask everyone around me to do the same. Check.
… offer up any scary moment, stressful moment, sick or painful moment for the intentions of anyone and everyone I know and don’t know all around me, near and far. Check!
…spend every other moment living each day for what it is, doing what I love most, (laughing, dancing, goofing off with the kids, or going out with friends, date nights with the Hubbie, or whatever it is, whenever I can) and basically sucking the life… out of life. Check!
Must be nice…
I’ve actually heard that a few times. More often lately. “Must be nice.” Whaaa??? “Must be nice to have so much energy“, or to “feel so great“, or to “still look like I don’t have cancer“. Hmmm… I’m never quite sure how to respond on that one. I could open my mouth real wide and start involuntarily “verbally vomiting” the way my skin on my breast and all around under my right arm pit pretty much feels like I sweat…
Oh yeah, I’m “Hot Stuff” alright! Ha ha! Or shall I mention that I fight to keep my eyes rolling back in my head at noon (Radiation adds a double or triple dose of “drugged like sleepies” to already tired mommies and busy people in general). Yes, my Hubbie spends most nights alone with has maw maw-wife snoring at 7:30 or 8. Give him a ring, he’s up, probably taking first shift with our teething toddler. (Dad of the Year!) Just the tip of the iceberg there. So, if you’re thinkin’ I’m full of energy? It’s a choice. If there’s stuff to do, I “lock and load”. Get up in the a.m. and just don’t sit until I’m done with all commitments for the day. For me, as long as I stay moving, my energy stays with me and I am distracted from discomfort. But when I hit a wall and my body starts to scream,
“Hey, stupid, would ya rest already!” “Why don’t we cancel that last activity and go home now?” I have to be smart and actually listen now.
And to everyone who’s given the amazing compliment,
“Well ya look great!”
(said in almost the exact same intonation as if Jason and my mom called all of you and told you to say just that phrase, in just that way)
I’m working still on compliments, but THANK YOU. I’m pretty sure it’s the confidence I have in God, gratitude for the love I’ve felt from everyone all around me, and the zest for life that you’re seeing. That’s what’s so great.
I’m not afraid to tribute NERIUM for keeping my skin in crazy good condition throughout some rigorous chemotherapy that continues on now, as well as helping me with my scarring. Definitely a gift from God to be able to keep using it, even during radiation
*Shameless plug for this product, I know, (I am a horrible saleswoman) but, quite honestly,
I should be dried up like a little yellow raisin by now. For real, chemo/cancer skin is no fun, and Nerium totally has been my BFF.
**Link to my TEAM BUNA – NERIUM site**
Again, in the most random of ways, God provides… even if it is for my chemo-attacked, drying, wrinkling, scarring skin. God provided.
All that being said,
Costume or no costume, wig or beanie, Tobasco radiated skin or scars under Nerium construction,… it ain’t over ’til it’s over and we will keep on keepin’ on with whatever it takes to keep us goin’ to entertain ourselves along the way.
We will keep on finding “OUR HAPPY!” I hope and pray you can do the same. 🙂
Thanks and God bless ya,
After reading your post this morning my thoughts were, God is sending her HIS Son as she receives the Rays of radiation. As Father Larry Richards would say you are being penetrated with an SON TAN. May God continue to penetrate you with His Rays . Thank-you for sharing your journey with us and I pray God blesses all of our prayers for you.
I am all about a good “Son Tan”. Bring it on! Thank you!
You rock, Elise!! I totally get all of the SNL references. I, too, was raised on it and always come up with obscure references to long gone skits and characters.
I will continue to keep you in my prayers and I ask that you also include me in yours for a special intention. Thanks and God Bless!!
We’re sistas in SNL and Christ. What could be better?! 😉 I’ll def keep u in my prayers & laughters! Thx for including me in yours