Monday, March 6, 2017

May 13th

It's that time of year where I find out who my friends really are. If you don't disown me on or before May 13 (this year's Race for The Cure), either you have a high tolerance for redundancy, or you really are my friend. I don't repeatedly share facts about Breast Cancer because it's my passion, although it is. I don't beg for money because I enjoy bugging people. I don't. I ask you to give from the heart simply to save lives. As almost everyone knows, my life changed 5 years ago. I went to bed one Sunday night knowing I had a new found lump. Two days later, I sat in the office with a doctor hearing those words I never wanted to hear.

Breast Cancer has always been one of my greatest fears. I've always had anxiety. When you take a person with anxiety & tell her that her worst fear has come true, you have a basket case. Prior to that moment, I lived my life pretending everything would be okay. When a worry came my way, I would ask my husband if he thought everything would be okay. He would humor me by saying "yes," & I would pretend he had a crystal ball. This worked well until that moment, that life changing moment.

I couldn't pretend anymore. Neither of us knew if my life would be okay, & we knew we didn't know. I was too horrified to ask my husband his thoughts. By the end of the week, I had a scary diagnosis & a treatment plan. I'm sure I had PTSD too. I couldn't sleep, but when I did, I awoke with a heavy heart. I could not escape that awful feeling of fear. I was suddenly hearing words that sounded like a foreign language. I needed an interpreter. I didn't know that my life would never be the same. I didn't know that I would live the rest of my life in a brain fog.

I had no idea that the chemo I was given would cause a neuromuscular disease I already had to progress. Losing my hair was humbling, but losing my ability to process information has been much worse. My hair grew back; my brain still has trouble thinking clearly. My memory is like "50 First Dates." If you tell me something in confidence, don't worry about me sharing it. I won't remember it. I had no idea the toll this rotten disease & its treatments would take on me & my family. They would suffer too, just in a different way.

So here I am. I have just survived another cancer scare. All is well. Some of my relationships are strained because I am changed. I wish I could understand things more easily. I feel as though my social graces are at times no longer second nature. Having memory loss is both a blessing & a curse. I forget important details. However, I don't dread things like I used to because I don't remember my upcoming events. I only tell you all of this so you will understand why I am again beginning my yearly mission.

Please donate to TEAM SWEET POTATAS.  You can search for my team on the Susan G. Komen website. Click on The Race for The Cure & then choose Peoria, IL. She (Susan G. Komen) saved my life. Please give whatever you can. Who knows who will be diagnosed next? No one is immune. Not even those with crystal balls. The farther a Survivor gets from her diagnosis, the harder it is to raise money. Please help me if you can. The sooner TEAM SWEET POTATAS reaches her goal of $10,000, the sooner I'll stop begging.

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