After finishing the last of my treatments recently, we celebrated and went to the beach for what we refer to as “FAMILY FEST ’15”,
but here’s a little secret…
I was teetering on the border of pure insanity…
… Buna was goin’ a little CRAY CRAY!
Allow me to explain.
I had an amazing time building sand castles, walking along the gulf shore with my sister-in-law, my daughters, and nieces while following a dolphin all along the way (How picturesque!), watching my husband do back handsprings in the sand (as he does every trip), giving my kids and nieces and nephews juices boxes as my brother buried all the kids in the sand, took snap shots of both my brothers playing Frisbee on the beach while my mom splashed with the little ones in the water, … and the list goes on. The beach was WONDERFUL! (Always my happy place!!) It was a true reward at the end of one very long year.
Yet voices somewhere deep down popped up, surprisingly and totally unexpectedly, to try and steal my peace.
For real. I felt like Sally Fields in “Sybil” had nothing on me. Oy!
These voices, stirring in my head, were feeling the weight of the past year crashing upon us after a 100 mph road race and suddenly slamming on the brakes, forgetting that any baggage I may be dragging unbeknownst at such a high speed would only crash in the back of my head like whiplash at such a sudden stop. Make sense? Combine that with a looming PET scan and… welp…. my poor hubbie earned a badge of honor for dealing with my split personality “Beach Bum Hippie Chick/Wet Mop of Emotions Every Other Night When We Came Inside.” Moral of the story: 1) Leave me outside on the sand near the water. I’m very, very happy there. 2) He’s a good man. If you didn’t know that yet, see: What a Mighty Good Man Post
Lo and Behold the WAIT is over, and the WEIGHT has been lifted!!
After a full week of celebrating life at many levels (both rejoicing the end of my treatment and mourning the loss and celebrating the life and witness of a beloved family member, whom I idolized, that passed away that very same week), we returned home, COLLAPSED, … and THEEEEN settled in.
On Monday, I returned to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center for the first time in 2 weeks to check in for my PET scan. Like my normal beachy, half-brained self, I entirely forgot about my fast before the scan and had just finished a cup of coffee and a half a piece of toast (couldn’t eat much with a flippity stomach, so wasn’t too far gone, but still… Whoops!) But, we went for it anyway. Anywho, I settled in my chair in the back to be injected with my dose of “radioactive fuel” (enough to keep me separated from the rest of the world for that hour and from my kids from the rest of the day… Bummer) to pulse through my body for the scan and let it settle for a good hour before they slid me up and down the ol’ tube for a good 20 minutes of scanning only to wait.. wait.. wait for the next few days for the…
DUN DUN DUUUUN … results.
Oh! The waiting…
I sat back and reflected on the past year again, and was overwhelmed … yet again, with gratitude. It was such a wonderful reality check. With all that everyone has done for me this year, there’s nothing I could do more than to keep my HOPES up, my PRAYERS rollin’, and a smile on my face. I felt so very out of sorts on my trip that I knew that negative cloud that kept following me couldn’t have been of GOD. I knew that this past year was so filled with the Holy Spirit and so covered with everyone’s prayers, and we’d remained so positive, that that moment of weakness and crazy outbursts (not that I’m not totally allowed to fall apart. I definitely need to do that, but it was like a crazy train wreck of emotions one night that I felt so much more coming…). I knew that I’d taken my game face off and forgotten that even that even though treatment are complete, I’ll need to stay in the game through this next phase of “recovery”. Somehow I lost my spark. I forgot to “not worry”. I had lost sight of the big picture. By day, I was all “Marley -girl” and in the evenings.. she was long gone! EEK! I lost my “chill factor”. For the most part, even in my dark moments, there’s normally a pretty visible glimmer of hope shining through. … But I was whirling and couldn’t stop. I had lost my hope in what was yet to come…
I had forgotten that the PET scan coming, and the major surgery in AUGUST would still be covered in prayer. I had forgotten that God would remain with me in these next 5 years til the cure. I had let go when they disconnected my last dose of chemo that day. I disconnected and was lost. I got off track.
Yet yesterday, my phone rang…
and on the other end, was a pirate.
‘Twas my fave pirate, my pirate docta /oncologist,
delivering my PET scan results.
(went a little somethin’ like this)
Dr.Saux: “NOT A LICK OF CANCER, BUNA! YOU’RE ALL CLEAR.”
Me: “Are you FREAKIN KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!
BOTH: WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
Me: So Can I Have them Rip out that dear ol’ Mrs.Peabody
the Witch the Port at my next surgery so I can burn her in a bonfire?!
Dr.Saux: Burn Baby Burn!
Me: Disco Inferno!
My cray cray voices are silencing, the wait is over so the weights are lifted, and I can now move onto our next …. more finalizing step of this crazy journey (my surgery on August 14th) feeling healthy, hopeful, and in much more control. I feel now like I’m going into this last surgery to regain control of my life again run through that last finish line with my head held high, ready to seize that trophy victoriously!
Not to mention, we’re heading in to this surgery on the Friday after the first full week of school for my kids. That just so happens to be the same day last year, that they came home from school and we told them that Mommy had breast cancer. If you recall, on that day last year, after many tears and conversation, we flipped the evening around with a family party at Chuck E Cheese to kick off the beginning of TEAM BUNA and our family fights as a team instead of a family that mourned and lost. So I invite you to pray for us as we seek to make this surgery to be both the closure of challenges of a year past and the beginning of our new bright adventures ahead.
We have been given clear scans, we’re removing my port to embrace the hope of a healthy future, and we’re taking on this surgery to clean out the old scar tissue and begin a newer healthier Mommy. Yes, it will be one last rough patch (another 6-8 week recovery), one more mountain to climb, but at the top, we will see the whole new life ahead of us.
I’m blessed to be given this life, this family, and all of you.
And I won’t take it for granted.
There’s no better way to show my excitement for our clear PET scans and for the amazing year ahead of us than with…
(Click on link to watch SNL Spartan cheerleader sketch)
Thank you everyone for all of your prayers and support!
Please stay with me through my upcoming surgery, August 14th.
We’ll keep ya posted.
God bless ya,