Sweet Baby, Sour Cancer

My journey through cancer and pregnancy, twice.

When I started this post I was sitting in front of my laptop and for once was having a hard time writing. Me? Speechless? Never happens. Never say never right?!?!! I don’t know… I guess I am just not sure what I want to say or how to say what I want, or if you even care anymore about what I would write about.

I feel like by now, you may be sick of my cancer posts showing up on social media and frankly, I too get tired of writing about it. Don’t I have anything better to write about? Well, no, not really because if I didn’t have cancer my life would be pretty boring. And I am ok with boring; boring is fine, but I certainly wouldn’t have anything interesting or funny to inspire and encourage others with, if I didn’t have cancer.

So now it’s 3:00am and I am wide awake. Guess it’s time to blog, as I have said before, I do my best writing when I can’t sleep or when my life goes from everyday boring to cancer landmine.

So what’s keeping me awake? Definitely Nate’s snoring. Coras feet are kicking me in the small of my back. Pepper is sleeping on my feet and Calvin sounds like a siren when he sleeps. Although those things were keeping me awake, they really are just excuses. Because, what’s keeping my mind going, is the impending surgery I am facing tomorrow.

I don’t want to do it. I have never been more unprepared, or in such denial over a surgery before. I don’t want to face it. I haven’t even lined anybody up to watch the kids yet. Nothing’s packed. Probably should buy some food for the house, because I won’t be going food shopping or lifting any groceries for a while. Catch up on laundry? Nope, haven’t done any of it.

So what’s the big deal Jodi… come on!? This is your 13th surgery, you should be a pro by now. You got this. Ya, ya, ya…Thanks…I do. I’m not worried about the surgery itself, the pain or even the recovery. Whatever, that stuff is easy. By now, the post surgical pain doesn’t bother me too much anymore. What bothers me is this: we bout to get all up close and personal here…

This surgery will put me into menopause. An irreversible state. After Cora was born I was put on medication that put me in a chemical induced menopausal state. It was- “no bueno”! You can go back and read my blog post from 2016 it’s called The Cancer Hunger Games. To sum it up, I was a really sweaty, hot mess with a sad, dry vagina. Everything was bad. EVERYTHING! And at 37 years old, a new parent, no one wanted to feel that way. Once I stopped those meds it was like I came out of this medical fog. Like I was under some spell and then that spell was broken and I returned to my normal state of mind.

I’m a huge Lord Of the Rings fan. Remember in The Two Towers, when King Theoden was under a spell and Gandalf the Gray comes in? He pulls his cloak off to reveal that he is actually the more powerful Gandalf the White, and lifts the horrible spell. The King’s eyes go soft again, his hair isn’t wiry and it comes back in all nice and thick, his skin goes from old, dry and cracked to soft and smooth. He is a new man.

People be forewarned. Some may be hearing this for the first time… I made a mental note that I would rather die than ever agree to take those meds again. I know this is strong language, but it’s how I truly felt coming out of my Lupron spell. My quality of life was so… altered, so poor, that I swore to myself that I just wouldn’t do it again.

Well, fast forward to Calvin and (of course never thinking I would get cancer again) here I am faced with the same meds and the same spell. Dr. Mayer, a.k.a. one of the smartest ladies I know, doesn’t like dust to settle and immediately brought up taking the meds again, and by ‘the meds’ I mean– the Lupron.

My cancer did not respond to the 16 rounds of chemo I had while I was pregnant. Like, at all (lobular breast cancer does not respond to chemo). My only defense is to starve this hormone fed cancer. So… what choice do I have?

I prayed for two miracle babies and got two miracle babies. I believe that God didn’t give me these babies just to take me away from them. So I feel I need to do my part. Dr. Mayer and I agreed that we have to at least try taking the meds again, and see what kind of response my body will have. So I did it, I was willing to try on the menopause pants and see…

I have been doing the Lupron shots for about 6 months now and guess what…. they aren’t fucking working!!!! I have previously asked for prayer on FB for my labs- well this is what I was talking about. My pesky ovaries aren’t shutting down (even on Lupron!), therefore I can’t start some of my other cancer meds (which come with a laundry list of shit- awful side effects) until my hormone levels are down to zero. So here we are, with me awake, when I should be sleeping, dreading my surgery and dreading what comes next.

“Be positive Jodi, it might not be so bad… Don’t live on ‘what if island’ Jodi… Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched…Maybe this time around will be different… maybe… and it could be different…”

But, let me ask my other sisters in pink…? Nope, they ALL say the same thing… it sucks. Night sweats, husbands complaining their wife feels like a salamander who has been baking in the sun instead of a warm soft body to snuggle. Loss of hair, weight gain, Insomnia.. No doubt my blogging will pick up once the insomnia sets in. Which leads to a tired and irritable next day and yes, even I could* get bitchy. And listen peeps, I understand that every woman goes through menopause, however it usually takes years, like 10 years! I am about to embark on a bullet train to hormone-free-land in less than 24 hours. Side note… I am still recovering from just having a baby.

A cancer sister in pink posted some excerpts from a book called “Undying”. If anyone wants to send me a copy feel free. I will be back in the poor house after this surgery and the medical bills start piling up again. Anyways, the excerpt goes like this:

“Someone once said that choosing cancer treatment is like choosing to jump off a building when there is someone holding a gun to your head. You jump out of fear of death, or at least a fear of the painful and ugly version of death that is cancer, or you jump from a desire to live even if that life will be for the rest of its duration a painful one”.

The cancer gun is to my head, and I’ve been offing body parts one by one, while deciding if I should just throw my entire self (metaphorical or whatever) off the roof top, how many body parts is it gonna take!? I pray that when I land, I am done with this threat (cancer) for good. I’m hoping I will wake-up and there will be enough of me still intact to continue on with life. I don’t like the feeling that parts of me are missing or damaged. And even if I do all these surgeries, all this treatment, it doesn’t even secure a guarantee…

This seems like a cheap description of what really goes on when we cancer people have to take these meds to ‘help increase survival’. I am also trying to keep the bitch-list short, I know the last paragraph was dark. It’s scary to think that after surgery tomorrow (after I jump, or chuck off body parts) none of it is reversible. That’s horrifying, because I don’t know, even now, hours before surgery… but seriously, Fuck you cancer.

2 thoughts on “Lucky 13

  1. Robin McDonald says:

    My thoughts and prayers will be with you today Jodi, as they always are. Your strength, faith and family will help to get you through just one more shitty part of battle cancer. I am a phone call away….or a simple text saying “help! I need laundry done”….I have told you doing laundry is probably my favorite household task. Anything for you my friend. I love you!

    Like

  2. cyndimom says:

    Jodi as I read your blog this morning my heart broke for you. I just don’t even know what to say. I would love to give you encouragement and I’m going to try here in this note, but I know it may all sound trite.
    When I first met you in La Romana all those years ago I found you to be a smart, funny, hard working, wonderful person. I remember the day we sat on the roof over the dinning hall getting the last bit of sun before going home. I remember how hard you worked. Seems like another lifetime even to me.
    I have watched as you have gone through this cancer journey with such guts and honesty. I’ve prayed for you and the outcome of many things, and each time you came through. God has blessed you and Nate with two beautiful children, they are certainly your legacy.
    My feeling is that as horrible as the next few months are going to be doing what you have to do is what needs to be done. I pray your surgery goes well today (I’m sure it will) but I especially pray for your recovery. I pray you feel the loving arms of our savior holding you at all times. I pray for people who will help you with the details of your life so you can just love your children and Nate. I wish I was able to help you, but I’m not sure how I would do that, expect I’ll be praying for you.
    God Bless you, and keep you strong.
    Love,
    Cyndi

    Like

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