Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Continuing with Cancer

In three days we fly out to Colorado and move Micah into the dorms at University of Denver. In six days, we will return home and be official empty nesters. The last few weeks have been "all things Micah"--making his favorite foods, shopping on line together, prepping for the last details of moving to college in another state. In the midst of that, of course, cancer continues. Let me start by saying thanks to all of you who have been asking about my medical updates. This is the best platform to send out the info. As usual, it will be a bit medical, and a bit personal.

I had my CT scan on Monday and met with my oncologist to review it yesterday. This was after my eighth session of chemo in the last four months. As I have stated before, I have learned to not have expectations. I used to have all these plans in my head of how it would go and when I would probably have surgery and then I just let that go. I seriously walk in with no anxiety and no fear (at least the last two times). According to my oncologist, the news is GOOD.  The three tumors in my lung are, in his words, "invisible to the point of undetectable." The tumor in my pelvis has shrunk by one centimeter, and there are NO new tumors anywhere. My kidney function is back to normal and all my blood counts are great. However, at this point, he still wants me to continue chemo to keep shrinking the tumor. This could change if my colon surgeon decides that the pelvic tumor is small enough to be removed. Of course all this news is great with the exception of... MORE CHEMO. It looks like four sessions (which is about two months--every other week) and then another scan. I do NOT like this. BUT--according to my oncologist--this is the protocol--to shrink and kill as much as possible to eradicate the cancer. So--I continue. But I continue in the way I have always continued which is to live my life to the fullest and cancer is just a part of my everyday routine. I want to rejoice in this news (and I truly am so thankful that the chemo is causing forward progress)--but I really really hate chemo. I hate the smells, the sound, the tastes, the side effects, the time strain it puts on my schedule. But I must go on, and I will.

My next chemo is scheduled for September 10 and I have a stent replacement on September 5. But in the meantime, I move my baby boy to Denver, I see my oldest in Fort Collins, I work on the design for the unfinished basement in our FC house, I read, I walk the dogs, I hike, I spin, I cook, I pray for others, and I work. Life continues. I have said this so many times, and since my blog has been going for 6.5 years, most have you have heard this on repeat--BUT, let me repeat again:

Live your life NOW. Embrace the season or journey you are in. Accept and unpack your feelings whatever they may be. Understand that ordinary is absolutely OK. You don't have to to be a celebrity to have a platform. I always say to live a "purpose filled life." Don't misunderstand this. We all have to take care of kids, work, cook, grocery shop, sleep, do errands, go to appointments. Most of life might seem mundane. It isn't all balloons and rainbows. It is messy and raw and hard. It is joy filled with bursts of true happiness. But most of the time it is simple and basic. Complicated yes, and fraught with emotion and unexpected circumstances. But it is YOUR LIFE. So I say again and again, live it to YOUR fullest and don't put yourself down because you haven't met all your goals or aren't doing something that you deem "important or impactful."

DON'T wait for a death or a diagnosis to set your priorities in line with your actions. What is important to you today? Are you loving those around you well? Are you learning something new about yourself or others? Are you adding REST to your schedule? Are you adding FUN to your schedule? Are you setting goals that will better you? Are you accepting THIS moment?

I will say it again--your actions should line up with your priorities. Think about this. Whatever your struggle is--work on it, reflect on it, and surround yourself with community and push on.

I have cancer. It continues. But so does my beautiful and precious life.

Thanks for your love and prayers and support.


Irene said...

I have been moved to tears, goosebumps, and most of all, awe. You deserve to wring every ounce of happiness you can from Freshman move-in. You deserve every opportunity of joy-filled bliss that surrounds you.

Kendall Valenzuela said...

As usual, Kirsten, your writing is SO poignant, beautiful —and your life perspective, outlook and attitude is truly awe inspiring. I love you, & am happy to hear you are making forward progress with the pelvic tumor being shrunk in size and the lung tumors eradicated. I’m sorry you have more rounds of that wretched chemotherapy to endure— and will be praying for you to have continued strength as you move forward. May God grant you a WONDERFUL move-in experience with Micah, and a successful and fun filled visit with Noah, as you work on getting your new home & basement established in Fort Collins. I look forward to seeing photos of your trip and time with the boys... sending you BIG hugs, prayers and much LOVE always.

Cindi Mitchell said...

Best Blog ever! So much positivity! You've got this, you've had this all along with the most amazing positive attitude of anyone I know that's dealt with cancer! Keep believing and we will all continue to keep praying for you! ❤❤❤

Kate said...

As always I am moved by your honesty and positive attitude. I think of you often when I face a challenge and it always helps me move forward with grace and thoughtfulness. Thank you for sharing your journey and for being who you are. You are always in my prayers!