It Wasn't Supposed to Come Back

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I had my first treatment January 3rd. I went into it fully thinking I'd fly though this year and it would be a breeze. 
Well shot that theory down within 3 days haha. 
I began having chest pains Thursday night and by Friday night was in the ER. Every time I took a breath it was like being stabbed by knvives. Luckily, it wasn't a pulmonary embolism and was just pleurisy. But good heck does that hurt. :| 
The days after that are when it started getting worse though. My entire body began aching and I was so fatigued I literally couldn't get out of bed. I'm not gonna lie, those few days I had a total pity party. I was pissed. How was I expected to get through a year of this? How could I keep everything together for an entire year without driving family insane with my constant need for help? A year is a flipping long time when you feel like crap. I was consumed by my irritation at my situation. Big pile of poo. Poor me. 
Then this happened today. 
Karston had drawn this on his easel. I asked him to explain it. He said,"That's you surrounded by broken hearts because you have cancer. The rest of them are our family and we are all sad about you." After crying for like an hour about this, I was finally able to snap out of my own misery. Having cancer sucks guys. But watching your kids hurt because of cancer sucks more than having it.
I wish my kids had no clue what cancer was. I wish they didn't know that ugly word and it didn't crush their innocent hearts. 
 Karston has asked many times who will give him loves if I die because I'm the love of his life. I've held each of my kids while they've sobbed and I can't find the words to comfort them. So I just cry too. 
"It wasn't supposed to come back", I heard Kambrie cry. 
She's right. 
It wasn't supposed to. At least not according to my plan. 
Realizing that there's a higher plan than mine has been the hardest pill to swallow. 
Accepting that I have no clue what that plan is is even harder. 
So what's the lesson here? 
Will I beat this? I have no clue. 
Can I beat this? I don't know. The odds are better than they were 4 years ago. 
Will I be one of the 24% still alive in 3 years? Maybe. Maybe not. 
So what do I do with this information? 
Well first off, I accept it. I accept that I don't know the outcome. 
Then I ask myself what do I want to learn from all this?
I'll tell you what I want to learn. 
Love more. 
Be kinder. 
Be there. 
Live in the present. 
Notice the good. 
Be the good. 
And at the end of this whether I've been given 3 extra months or 30 extra years, I just pray that because of this trial I'm a better person. That I had bad days but I always stood back up and found a way to laugh. That when my darkest day comes I will still find light. That no matter how angry I feel I will know that God is in control and I will accept his plan. And that I will be grateful for every single breath I took, Because we are not promised any of them. 

Melanoma Mama. Again.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

I've had so many of you asking when I was going to blog again. I find great therapy in writing and blogging is a great place to update everyone in once place. So here we go again... :)

December 8, 2016. That's the day I found out melanoma wasn't done with me yet. I had made it through 3.5 years of being NED (no evidence of disease). This is a huge deal in the melanoma world. For those 3.5 years every scan I held my breath. Every scan I didn't sleep for nights before. Every scan I pictured the worst. Not this one though. I thought so little about this scan I forgot I even had them coming up. Danny was going to be out of town and I just figured I'd go alone. I'd get the good news, walk out of that office and move on with my life. I was finally at a place emotionally where I was ready to let go. I was alive. I had beat it. I knew it.

By nothing short of a miracle, my sister in law's insisted that I didn't go alone. Chemene and I laughed and joked the entire time. My usual anxiety before finding out my results was completely gone. It all changed the moment the doctor walked in the room though. Everything was different from the way they normally do things and I just knew. It didn't soften the blow though when she told me I had a mass in my lungs. I found myself sucked right back into that first moment in 2012. This time was worse though. So much worse. My worst nightmare had come true. If it's on an organ that means Stage 4. And no melanoma patient ever wants to hear those words.

The next two weeks were followed by a lung biopsy that confirmed it was melanoma. Next was an MRI to check my brain (clear thank goodness). Next came treatment discussions, side effects and survival odds. None of them are ever an appointment you would want to sit through. That I promise you. It's been a whirl wind but it always is a huge relief once a plan is in place. I start Keytruda on January 3rd. Infusions are every 3 weeks and it will last a minimum of a year.

I'm not able to quite express the devastation we have felt these past few weeks. It was one giant kick in the gut right when I was feeling like I had gotten through the worst of it. I however, can deal with anything they throw at me. I will get upset, I will go through denial and grief and then acceptance. After all that I will return to my normal Brittany self and crack jokes and deal with it in my "Brittany way".

The thing I can't get over is watching my kids be heart broken. The sounds of their cries when we told them will forever haunt me. The girls know the terrifying reality of Stage 4. I've lost 10 friends in the last year to it. The way I held Karston as he cried and asked, "Who will give me lovies if you die? You're the love of my life." I didn't even realize he understood anything.Those are the moments that break my soul. Trying to reassure your babies that everything will be fine when you are scared to death is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

We are scared. We are devastated and we are exhausted. But we are also hopeful. The melanoma field is changing rapidly and we have so much hope that things will only continue to get better with the treatments they have to offer. We have faith, we have each other and we have trust in God's plan. Even if I feel currently that I'd like to return this plan back to him. ;) Jk. See, there's that Brittany humor. I'm still in there.

XOXO to you all.

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