Sunday, April 21, 2013

Facing the Future

This update is a hard one to write.  I've been dreading it and have, in fact, been putting it off.  However, procrastination is not going to change the facts, so it's time to put them out there for you, my friends, to know.
 
Monster lives.  He resists chemotherapy.  He has come back to life after four major surgeries designed to destroy him.  He is too big for radiation.  He is too aggressive and unpredictable for other common treatments.  He is a threat to other body parts and functions, which, once damaged, can not be reversed and could be life-threatening.  His location within my body makes nontraditional treatments questionable at best, and more like out of the question.
 
Monster is not going away.
 
In the last few weeks, I've had to make a difficult decision.  Since the debate was settled with a positive biopsy result, it has become clear that Monster intends to stay.  I have to change my thinking, my prayers, my outlook, my plans....my LIFE!....to accommodate that. 
 
After much consideration, prayer, counsel, and discussion, I have decided to opt out of further chemotherapy treatments.  While chemo may be maintaining Monster to some degree, it is not shrinking him and certainly not getting rid of him!  What it is doing is stealing from me.  It is stealing 3-4 perfectly good days every week when I can not function like ME.  It is stealing my energy.  It is stealing my spirit, my joy, and most of all, it is stealing precious time.
 
If the rest of my time on this earth is going to be shared with Monster--and right now, it appears that it will be--then I must make that time quality.  I want to spend that time being ME.  I am not a cancer patient.  I am a wife and a mom.  I am a daughter and a sister.  I am a granddaughter and an auntie.  I am a friend.  I am a follower of Jesus Christ.  I love music.  I like to laugh, good food, Mary Poppins, animals, wise sayings, mystery books, Target, and flip flops.  I must have my morning cup of coffee, my toenails painted, and a little bit of alone time every day.  These are the things that make my world turn.  I might have cancer, but it does not have me.
 
I have started on a new medication that I can take at home, once a day.  It blocks estrogen production, thereby starving the cancer cells.  (Monster eats estrogen.)  This pill is similar to the med that I took from 2010-2012, when Monster was on vacation.  The hope is that he will go on vacation again...this time for a long, long time.
 
Let's be clear:  This is not me giving up.  This is not me throwing in the towel or denying the possibility of God granting an 11th hour miracle.  This is me, facing the very real idea that I may not see my babies grow their first mustaches, go on their first dates, or nurse their first broken hearts.  I may not live long enough to be at my sons' high school graduation ceremonies.  I may not be here to dance at their weddings or rock my grand babies.  I need to be prepared for anything, so I want to get busy LIVING!
 
"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."  Proverbs 31:25
Please, Lord, let it be said of me.
 
P.S.  I don't know how much dignity a lady with a bird on her head can possibly muster, but it was a beautiful afternoon to go to the zoo with my 3 favorite boys!
 

 

30 comments:

Melynda said...

I am so proud of your courage! I'm so glad that you are moving forward and living your life instead of laying in bed. And I'm so proud of your faith! Yes, a miracle may yet come. I heard a great preacher say that God shows up when everyone else thinks it's too late. (Remember Lazarus?). And even if not, we know the end of the story. AsDr. hard age reminded us this morning, Jesus said,

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Bobbi Jo said...

I love you friend. I love your realness. I love your faith. I love that you will continue on with your head held high. I know your family, boys, and sweet hubby are proud of you. Hugs from our family, and we will continue to pray for complete healing.
BJ

Anonymous said...

Have you tried homeopathy? Some folks swear by it, it cured my father in law's lymphoma.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

I was linked here by a mutual friend. I have strong faith just like you and now I have you and your family in my prayers. Everything you wrote I am in agreement with you.

B Hayes said...

I hope every day is a "zoo" day for you and your guys!

Anonymous said...

You are a very very special person. Your love of God and your deep faith has taught me a lot! Your life has touched me. Thank you. Still praying. . .. Sue V.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you made this decision. You are so strong and I know you and your family will make the best of it. All my love and prayers!!

Anonymous said...

Allyson,
I admire you so very much. You are an amazing wife, mommy, and lady! I am praying for many moments that are blessed in your home with happiness and laughter, smiles and joy! You are making a decision that I stand behind...making memories with your boys is the most wonderful thing you can give them! Love you, H. Potter

Anonymous said...

My heart is heavy and rejoicing for you at the same time. Living life, making memories, and trusting our Father in Heaven is all any of us can do.

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praying for you sweet mom- may you have many more good days filled with love and laughter.

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Anonymous said...

I found you via a friend of a friend who shared this blog on Facebook. I read your blog from the beginning a few weeks ago at 3 am one morning, and I've been thinking about you and praying for you...I come here every few days looking for when you say "It's shrinking! and gone!"

I have no right to offer unsolicited advice and I know that you are probably doing everything in your power to manage this crazy Monster but I'm just going to throw this out there and you can give as much attention to it as you paid for it ;) But have you considered going a vegan lifestyle? I'm not vegan (I eat fish dairy), but, I have a friend who switched after a breast cancer diagnosis and has had great success.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/vegan-diet-cancer_b_2250052.html

As I said, take this with a grain of salt -- but I wanted to share in case it resonated with you and it was something you felt like might be an option.



Anonymous said...

May God bless you and keep you and your family. I found your blog through a friend's blog page. Our family's prayers are with you all for whatever the future brings. Peace, comfort and love be with you, my friend.

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Anonymous said...

Your post made me realize that we do have so much living to do. I am a 3 yr cancer survivor right now... whatever that means...Because I could one day be in your shoes as well. Thank you for reminding me what is important.

Keep your eyes on Him, He will not leave you. He has been where you are headed, He knows the plans, you only need to trust.

Julie
Round Rock, TX

Anonymous said...

Your strength has always been an inspiration to me. You have helped make me faith stronger. I feel so lucky to know you and the boys. I continue to keep you & your family in my prayers. Miss Patti

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Anonymous said...

Praying for God to give you strength and comfort. You are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

You are a wonderful, loving, brave woman and you have made the right choice. Now you can spend the time you have left with your dear family and they will remember Mommy as happy, not suffering from chemo.

Please, please, it is time to go on hospice. As a hospice RN, I can tell you that they will give you great help and comfort. Going on hospice doesn't mean you are actively dying, it only means no more aggressive treatment. You can still take your chemo pill. And hospice will help your boys and husband tremendously to deal with this.

God bless you dear. You will be in my heart.

PS. Go with the largest nonprofit hospice available. They will have many more resources available for the family and for you.

Anonymous said...

I spent my lunch break yesterday entirely in prayer for you and your family. I often say the greatest of miracles is salvation through Christ, and I believe this to be true. But yesterday, I prayed for another miracle - that our Lord should be glorified through the healing of your body. May God’s loving embrace comfort and strengthen you.

Tiffany said...

Sweet Allyson,

You are so loved. Many prayers are being lifted to our Good and Gracious Father. Your faith regardless of your very hard trial is a very bright beam of light for all to see.

Anonymous said...

May our good Heavenly Father continue to bless your sweet heart and your family! Take care of you! Have fun and keep smiling!!! In the words of Journey .... Dont Stop Believin' !!!! XXXXOOOO

Anonymous said...

God Bless you, Allyson, on this mother's day and always. Give those sweet little boys a big hug for all of us out here who are praying for you and pulling for you. Best wishes to you and your family.

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Anonymous said...

I second the homeopathy! Just try it. Praying for you daily...for strength, courage, and for monster to disappear. Forever.