Yesterday was a day we felt would NEVER come. Yesterday marked, Lord willing (as my Hubbie always reminds me to say an remain hopeful), my last day… EVER… of CHEMO!!!
Can I get a WHOOP!!! WHOOP?!?!
We ended up bringing the whole crew, yes, all 5 kiddos to the infusion suite or my ENTIRE treatment. (It was, to say the least, a little bonkers. But, I’d say, all in all, they were pretty well behaved. It just meant A LOT of trips to the snack table while “Sidekick” & “Sunshine” fixed food for their younger sibs (especially the eyes-too-big-for-her-stomach 4 year old “Firecracker”… OY!), and many, many, MANY trips with Daddy to go for
walks sprints across the sky run, tunnel over the street that connects to the hospital just across the street. (The girls fashionably refer to it as “The Runway“, I like that better, as I has to go back and forth across it a few times after being admitted whether on a bed or in a wheel chair when not at my best. I merely slapped a pretty chemo beanie on my bald, sick head and closed my eyes to imagine it was the fancy runway that they had dreamed it up to be. Voila! Imaginary world achieved. Ya see, my kids were so good for me this year. Right up until the end. It truly was perfect to have them there for that last moment. Here’s a few pics of the day…
We may have caused a bit of a commotion.
But we also did some good over there on my last day, I think??
At least, we tried when we…
Brought the cuteness factor and some smiles to a lot of faces that needed it. Even when it meant watching my 19 month old do her new trick for everyone of bending over to do see how long she can stay upside down with her head on the ground (some developmental thing I’m sure.. every toddler’s gotta do it!). They brought the joy!
handed out freshly many of my washed, bagged, Chemobeanies, tied up in pretty ribbons by my sweet daughter “Sunshine” who wanted it to be her mission to pass them out to any patients there who I helped her decide who she could approach to ask if they’d like to choose one. Many of which welcomed her with tears and a hug. What a big heart she has. So proud of that little “Mother Theresa”. She brought the “Sunshine” for sure.
My husband and my family helped me bring this year full circle. Without being a wife and a mother, I don’t know what I would have done. If cancer had taken that away from me, it would have taken my spirit. They gave me my focus, my will to keep going. Because of them, I always had more on my plate and on my mind to know why I needed to fight harder, get out of bed and get going, find the joy, put my best foot forward, and know that there’s something better just out side my bedroom door than what’s milling around in my head or my body. They were worth fighting for.
We brought hope… and we brought reality? We spoke with families around us. We are far from the norm in there. And that’s ok. A lot of people looked at us and said, over and over, “If y’all could do this, we can do this, right?” They asked if I got sick, they asked if I had help, they asked if maybe I didn’t have as many treatments or something or if my stage was a small one. I answered them all. “I had stage 3, borderline stage 4 breast cancer”, “I got very sick”, “Thankfully I had a lot of help, but It’s still us all through the night, with sick and waking kids and early mornings getting kids ready for school, or summers, etc…. But, we kinda get used to juggling and it always works out. God gives us the grace.” Most importantly, I told them, the people here, at MBP are like family. They get you through and gave me all I needed when I knew nothing about this. That’s just when they came to say my drip was done and my nurse, the same guy who started my very first drip during “Chemo School” ended my very last. At that moment, I stopped talking to my friend in the next chair and just started to cry.
We were no longer the ones bringing the love to anyone there. I realized how much love, care, and LIFE those nurses, those patients next to me, those volunteer, my friends Patti and Lisa who check me in, and even that darn “drip” were keeping me going this year. It was right when I looked up and saw it … stop, that I felt the strangest rush come over me. I was on my own now. The drip wasn’t going to keep me going anymore. This team had given me what I needed. Now it was my family and me. Like leaving a hospital with a brand new baby and waving goodbye to the nurses, I felt excited, and scared all at once. I stopped to cry with my head in my hands as he disconnected my port. Then hugged my children… hard. Then took a deep breath and shook it off, and began getting ready for the next step… our next “scheming plan” for our celebration to ring the hell out of the bell….
As you saw the super loaded backpack on the wee little “Snuggles“, she held “The Dude’s” secretly stuffed with pirate paraphernalia to out-pirate the pirate docta when rang the bell. As you can see below, it was a success. For once, we caught him NOT IN A COSTUME! But who was? The TEAM BUNA PIRATE crew, strapped on our eye patches, held our Pirate swords high, and with a “YO HO HO, and a great big ARRRR”, we approached the bell ready to RING THE VICORY BELL in honor of the man, DR.JAY SAUX, welcomed me aboard his pirate ship, along some stormy seas, and through a YEAR OF INFUSIONS, steered me home. I know he’ll continue to take care of me and wave another flag of victory at the 5 year mark for the cure. So it is to him, our CAPTAIN OF OUR CREW AND ALL THE BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING NURSES, VOLUNTEERS, RECEPTIONISTS, TECHS AND ASSISTANTS…THAT WE SAY “ARRRRRRRRRR, ME MATEY!” AND THANK YOU!!!!!!
WITHOUT FURTHER ADIEU…
(still working on the video… will try and get that uploaded here later. Sorry! technical difficulties, that this “chemo brain” just can’t get together at the moment, especially after yesterday. Sheesh!)
That’s about how that all went, a lil’ chemo, a lil’ dress up time’, a lil’ bell ringing (well, a lot of it – EVERY kiddo rang the bell! ), and a lil’ ice cream with the cousins after to celebrate before Mommy went home to sleep the day away. Woo hoo! Aren’t I just a ball-o-fun?!
No worries, we’re makin plans for some real celebrations. That’s an order!
So what’s next?
TUNE IN IN AUGUST FOR UPDATES ON THE TRUE AND FINAL LAST LEGS….
first week of August
HOPEFUL LAST MAJOR SURGERY (2ND PHASE 1 RECONSTRUCTION):
second week of August. more details later. it’ll be another doozy. but want to get this over with now. get ‘er done, right? then when we hit the fall… it’s party time! moving on to TRUE LIVING!!!!!
THANK YOU to EVERYONE who has prayed us through this year and more. With out all of you generosity in soooo many ways we can’t even count, I know I couldn’t have made it to this point. I’m humbled, I’m blessed, and I’m unstoppable now!!!
TEAM BUNA AIN’T DONE YET.
AFTER MY SURGERY IN AUGUST…. I’M GONNA GO BIG OR GO HOME..
PAY IT FORWARD, PRAY IT FORWARD AND MORE!!!!
Sooooooooo proud of you!!!!!!
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Proud of you too. You know I wouldn’t be here without you.
You did it, gurl. So proud of u.
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YES! Thank you so much for making your journey “public.” You’re amazing! I’m so happy for you and your family!
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Congratulations! and PRAISE BE TO GOD for many prayers answered! “Is anything too hard for ME” and “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!”
So happy for many prayers answered!
I laughed. I cried.
Thank you for sharing this extraordinary journey with us in your blog.
You are amazing!
Congratulations Elise! What an amazing victory! God is so good!!!
You did it! With grace,humor and the strength of a warrior! My prayers will continue as you prepare for the last leg of your amazing journey!
Wonderful, wonderful!! What a great victory to share with your family. I’m very happy for you all. 🙂
You and your fam are truly an inspiration to me…so very happy to read of all your small and large victories and continue to pray that the road from here on out is healthy and limited in it’s bumpiness!
Thank you so much!!!! Every single player and every last comment, “like”,and “share” out there has meant the world to me. I appreciate that more than you know. God bless ya!!!
Praise God!!! You have been my I inspiration to go forward and to do things that I feel I might not be able to. God bless and prayers go with you and your beautiful family.
I wanna be like Buna!
You are a true fighter, inspired by the Holy Spirit and shepherding a whole heckuva lot of people to see the joy, love, and faithfulness of God! Your hope and gratitude is infectious and I’m so proud of you! Thank you, Eli, Jason and Buna family, thank you for sharing your life with us!
Still praying with you for these next five years! We live in hope 😄
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