Moving Forward

Moving Forward

I’ve read before, there’s a reason the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror.

So you look forward instead of back.

Cancer Update

I’m still a boring cancer patient.

Thank God!

My tumor markers remain at 12 (anything under 32 is great).  I started at 910 back in 2015.

Fourth Cancerversary Dinner!

We celebrated my fourth cancerversary on March 31st with lunch at Olive Garden, and celebratory gelato at Sara’s Artisan Gelato.

Having fun with Clayton!
Having fun with Clayton!
Having fun with Clayton!
Enjoying the Gelato Flight!
The various gelato flavors

 

 

 

 

 

 

I absolutely LOVE celebrating life and living!

Getting my Zometa infusion

I go to Green Bay Oncology once a month to flush out my port, and every three months to see my doctor and receive my Zometa infusion.

On June 6th, I went to see the orthopedic doctor and got a cortisone shot in each knee.  He had to look at the records twice, he said, because it was exactly a year ago on June 6th that I got a shot in each knee!

The doctor asked me how long I had the pain in my knees.  I told him it had been a month and a half.  I’m always pushing myself – still.

It is great that those shots last me a year.  I hope that keeps up, for sure.  The doctor mentioned when I left, “you don’t use it, you lose it!”  That is a true statement!

I still live with the pain of the torn labrum in my right hip.

Cancer Survivor’s Dinner

Each year, HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital in Green Bay put on a Cancer Survivor’s Dinner.

The theme this year was “Grace”.

The keynote speaker, Karen Mills, was so awesome, speaking about grace and also hope!

I always have hope (Little One’s name) and grace (Baby Girl’s name) in my life every day!

As we sat at the table for dinner, a woman and her son sat next to us.  She had survived Stage 3 breast cancer, and had a mastectomy.  Her son, now in his 20’s, had attended Angel Camp when she had been diagnosed when he was younger.  I asked him if the camp helped him to understand what was going on with his mom, and he said absolutely it helped.  It also helped him to be around other kids who were in the same situation of potentially losing their mom/parent.

I can’t imagine leaving my children behind.

When the woman and her son sat down at the table, she looked at me and said “you look really familiar, Erika” (we had name tags on).  I said “well, I did a commercial a while ago…”.  She responded, “oh yeah! About water!”.

It’s amazing how many people know me or recognize me when we are out and about!

Telling the Truth

I probably sugarcoat things sometimes, and make my daily life with a terminal illness look easy.

But it’s not easy.

Anyone who may be reading this blog needs to understand that my cancer is in real time, with real emotions, coming through my keyboard.

There are days that aren’t pretty, and if I make it pretty, I would be doing a disservice to those women who might read this that are struggling with breast cancer.

Father’s Day

Today, we celebrate Father’s Day.

It’s also the day, seven years ago, that the hubs proposed.

Father’s Day Brunch 2019

I am so thankful that he took on me and two teenage girls, and adopted the girls as his own.

Also, I am thankful to the hubs’ sons, Rob & Gary, who shared the hubs with the girls.

We went to 1951 West for Father’s Day brunch.  I said to our waitress, “you look familiar”.  She went right into telling me that she had been one of my nurses at Green Bay Oncology!

I’m glad she told me where I knew her from.  You know how sometimes you see someone out of their “element” or job, and you can’t place them, and you rack your brain to figure it out, and about three days later the light bulb turns on?!

Fathers and Dads

Fathers and Dads.  Is there a difference?  There is, in my mind, a difference between a father and a dad.  A father can be a dad, and a dad can be a father.  A man can be both; so can a single mom.  There are many single moms in the world that know there is a definite distinction between a father and a dad.  There are many single dads in the world that know there is a definite distinction between a mother and a mom.

A father isn’t necessarily a relationship, or a role in a child’s life.  A father is more of a biological term.  To be blunt, a father is, what I’ve heard many single mothers say, a sperm donor.

First of all, a dad is there for his children.  A dad can also be there for another father’s children.  A dad participates in his children’s lives.  A dad watches his children as they grow, he watches the defining moments of his children as they travel towards becoming adults.  A dad nurtures his children.  A dad loves his children unconditionally.

A father doesn’t need to be present to be a father.  A dad is present in his children’s lives.

The hubs is a father and a dad.  He raised his two sons, Rob and Gary, through boy scouts, hunting, running the lawn mower into trees, breaking windows with golf balls, jumping off the roof, football, track, everything they participated in, he tried his best to attend.

He raised both those boys to be hard working, intelligent, loving, and kind.  He adopted Little One and Baby Girl to be their dad, and he has been present in their lives for the past eight years.

To you fathers that aren’t being fathers to your children, it doesn’t matter why you are acting the way you are, you have a child/children that belong to YOU.  To the mothers out there in the world that are keeping your child/children from their father for any reason (other than being a true abuser), knock it off.  Children are not pawns to play with.  Fathers, be DADS.  Your children need you.

Finally, Fathers and Dads, and Single Mothers, Happy Father’s Day!

To you fathers and dads out there in the world, Happy Father’s Day.

To you single mothers out there in the world, Happy Father’s Day.

Mental Health

I believe mental health is EXTREMELY important.

In the past month, I saw a counselor for my own mental health.

It is nice to speak with someone who doesn’t know who you are talking about, you know it isn’t going “out there” into the world to possibly reach the person/people you are talking about, and you get an objective opinion about what to do and how to handle a situation or life.

A couple of things I walked away with:

  • What is your biggest stressor?
    • Yourself.
  • Who is your harshest critic?
    • Yourself.

I definitely recommend seeing a counselor or talking to a non-judgmental, objective friend just to relieve your anxiety and stress about life once in a while.

I have three of those non-judgmental, objective friends.

One in particular, Anne, I see on a mostly daily basis during the week, as we go water walking together at the Y.  While we are water walking and exercising, we talk and talk and talk and talk and talk about everything and anything, and nothing goes outside the pool.  It is our mental health time.

More Mental Health Time

I started mowing lawn when I was maybe twelve or so.  I’ve always loved mowing the lawn, and how the lawn looks when I’m done.

After Little One was born, the first time I mowed the lawn again, my eyes swelled shut so I couldn’t get my contacts out.  I became allergic!

Then Baby Girl was born, I tried to mow the lawn again, and I was fine.

Last year, the hubs and I purchased a new lawn mower, and he said mowing the lawn was my job!

Mowing the lawn for me is also a mental health break where you can think and think and think.

Yes, sometimes it hurts me to mow the lawn physically.  The bouncing around doesn’t help the compression fractures in my spine.

But sometimes, you deal with the pain to do something you love to do.  Right?

But through all of this, MENTAL HEALTH IS IMPORTANT.

Take the time for your own mental health.

Stop stressing yourself out.  Life is complicated because we make it that way.

Stop criticizing yourself, and being hard on yourself.  Lighten up.

And if you need to talk, reach out.  I’m here to listen.

Sending love and hugs ~Erika~

 

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