Katie & Briscoe

Katie & Briscoe

Monday, September 6, 2010

Count Your Blessings!

Woke up so thankful this morning. I've been feeling bad since Thursday night. I thought it was a cold at first, because I had a sore throat and my chest hurt like it was full of congestion. So I took meds to help with that and by Saturday night, I was starting to think it might be something else. My chest and shoulders were aching so bad. All the muscles across my neck and shoulders were drawn up like bow strings. Any deep breath caused a pain in my upper chest and shoulders. I was really starting to worry that something was seriously wrong. The fever I was running never climbed above a degree, so by Sunday I was pretty sure it wasn't an infection or a serious cold. I hadn't taken anything for the pain because it would also have masked the fever. I got fed up with it on Sunday, though, and finally took some Tylenol. It helped a lot. So I waited well past the 6 hours that it can be effective and checked my temperature again, which was still low, and took some more. Before I went to bed last night I took another dose and I woke up feeling much, much better this morning. I haven't taken anything at all today, and still feel fine.

So, I don't know exactly what was going on, but it seems to have cleared up. I will, of course, speak to my Dr. about it, but I'm just so thankful that it is better. I was really afraid for a while there that I was going to be spending the weekend in the ER. That is NOT something I wanted to do! Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayers!

Blessing #2: I realized late last night that things are mostly tasting normal to me again. I've counted myself blessed already because I haven't had a particularly bad taste in my mouth and have not developed any mouth sores, both of which would have made eating unpleasant. The only real issue I've noticed is that nothing seems to taste right. Actually, it's like my taste buds are all dulled. Nothing has the flavor it should have. I noticed a few days after chemo that I was kinda sensitive to pepper and thought I might have to avoid it, but I've actually been using more of it and salt and other spices in an effort to make food taste like something. I have this Mango/Orange juice in the fridge that I usually LOVE but it hasn't tasted like anything at all for a few days so I haven't been drinking it. I had some last night and while it may still taste a little "weak," it tastes much better than it did before. So I plan on trying to finish it off over the next few days before I get my next chemo and have to start the whole process over again. The taste distortions can be compounded with each treatment, so I want to enjoy my juice - and anything else I like - while I can just in case the dulled taste lasts longer next time.

There are, of course, countless more blessings in my life. My husband, friends, family, even the medical doctors and treatments are a blessing. When you get that diagnosis of cancer, it would be very easy to sit there and start asking, "Why me?" But I've chosen to instead be grateful that my cancer isn't worse, that I live in a time when we have treatments that are far superior to what was available just a few years ago, and when I have resources like the internet to help with my research into my disease and to find others who have been there before me and can offer invaluable advice, support, and encouragement. I've mentioned it before, but I want to do so again. The Cancer Survivors Network has been of TREMENDOUS help to me. Visit them, even if you don't have cancer. You will find an amazing group of people there who refuse to allow a cancer diagnosis to define who and what they are.

I also want to mention an item that I ordered off the web and received Saturday. I've seen the poem before, the first time when my mother-in-law was fighting brain cancer, I think. I loved it's message and after I got my diagnosis I did a web search and found this pendant at Sticky Jewelry, Inc.

I had to laugh when I received it, because the print is very tiny, though I can read it. Mark took one look at it and handed it back to me. The pic is much, much larger than actual size, but I'll still reprint the words below it, just to make it easier for anyone out there with less than stellar eyesight. :)

What Cancer Cannot Do...
It cannot...
invade the soul
suppress memories
kill friendship
destroy peace
conquer the spirit
shatter hope
cripple love
corrode faith
steal eternal life
silence courage

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