I’ve always loved a reason to throw a party or make a toast. Now more than ever I’m celebrating milestones and happy moments. Radiation done = champagne! Jay surprised me with my very favorite champagne and we drank a toast with my parents to our future. Then jay and I went out to dinner at Silver Dollar and talked and laughed almost like life was just back to normal. (Only I was sitting on my coat and scarf because it hurts to sit down for very long). I will continue to lay low and let the radiation work for a couple weeks. Hoping each day brings more comfort. I have a couple tests next week and meet with my oncologist on Thursday. We will finalize our plan for hormone treatment and move forward with attempts to keep my estrogen from going crazy. I have to wait a while for a scan to know if the cancer has spread anywhere else. That will stink… Waiting. But I’m going to fill the time with fun and laughter and just live in each moment. Thanks for the flowers, treats and messages to celebrate my last radiation. And thanks for all the prayers and constant encouragement. I’m so blessed. I got my drivers license renewed yesterday too. I’m sticking around for a long time!
Since 2014 didn’t get off to a good start for us… I am celebrating the Chinese and lunar New Year. Which starts today! This morning instead of going to radiation at 10am my mom and I went to yoga. As I focused on my breathing i thought of all the people in treatment. The same women and men I saw each morning for the past 3 weeks. I hope they will all be strong and hopeful. With each breath I felt my body pulsing with energy and life. I was sore and not able to do everything, but I was there! As I found a focus point across the room (trying to not fall over!) this quote was painted on the wall. It seemed pretty fitting all things considered. Happy new year my friends! I know it will be filled with hope and love. Lara
Just about to head out the door to last radiation treatment. I’m feeling better each day but not as great as I hoped. My doctors tell me to be patient (grrrrr) and that the full effects of radiation are still weeks out. But the sun in shining and I really just want to bundle up and go for a long run! Soon… Soon! I’m taking this little gift to the radiation techs at Norton Hospital. They are the kindest, compassionate, professional people I’ve ever worked with. They are such a big part of someone’s cancer journey- working with you daily, over and over again, and they do their job with such love and care. They also happen to do this great work in the basement of Norton (because of high levels of radiation, etc…) and their hands are COLD! Especially since my treatment was all during the coldest days of the year! They maneuver you on the radiation table and line up your “marks” to be just right for treatment. And theirs hands are freezing. So, I am giving them a bag of hand warmers!! 12 hours of heat- hopefully they can warm up their fingers before each patient! Hopefully I won’t see these kind folks again for radiation. I will certainly always remember their cold hands and warm hearts. With hope, Lara
Just wanted to send out a quick update as I sit in my quiet home this evening. Jay and Wills are at soccer practice and my parents are with Bennett at basketball practice. I am so thankful for the extra help so I can quietly relax. (Which doesn’t come easily to me!)
I’m feeling a little better each day. I am trying to be patient and not get discouraged by the discomfort I have while sitting and the general pain in the rear (literally and figuratively) this cancer causes! I start the day feeling pretty good and by the evening I am exhausted and just need to lay down. They say the radiation will be cumulative and so even though I only have three more treatments (last treatment Thursday! ) It will keep working for about a week and hopefully I will continue to feel pain relief.
This morning while waiting (in an incredibly sexy hospital gown) to go in for radiation treatment I met another young fighter there for treatment as well. Without even realizing I was a “patient (in a gown)” I started talking with her about Hope Scarves. She was wearing a scarf and I am always so excited to let people know about our program. After my treatment I had a chance to talk with her sister (while she has having her treatment) and learned she is also fighting metastatic stage 4 breast cancer. She just finished chemo and has 7 weeks of radiation! 7 weeks! My heart just sank as we talked. She and her husband divorced during her treatment 6 years ago and she has 2 sons. My heart went out to her so deeply… her sister said she is really scared. I hope she reaches out to Hope Scarves so we can send her a scarf and encourage her to keep fighting! I am so blessed to have help overflowing, an amazing husband and so many people praying and encouraging me. I am also so honored to be able to share Hope Scarves with people like this brave woman. I hope we can do our small part to make her smile, just pass along a little bit of hope and help her feel she isn’t alone.
The picture in this post is from the weekend. We built this giant snowperson (we weren’t really sure if it was a boy or a girl) and had a great snowball fight. I am soaking up the laughter and fun with my boys and my parents and enjoying every day to the fullest.
Thank you for your love, support and prayers! We feel it!
I hear the pitter patter of little feet…. gotta go!
I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer two weeks ago on Friday January 10th. It seems like 2 months ago. So much has changed in such a short period of time. That Friday an army of friends equipped with soups, salads, flowers, wine and hugs showed up at our house. (A couple came all the way from Alabama). Jay coaches practice for wills basketball team on Friday nights so he and the boys went on to practice knowing I was in the loving arms of friends. (And knowing the boys love basketball and needed the distraction.) Each Friday evening since then I’ve been surrounded friends. Just sitting around, talking, laughing and sharing stories about our kids, lives and ideas. I love this. Last night I also received a big box of love from my Alabama girls filled with some of our favorites things from Birmingham and sweet notes of encouragement. When jay came home he had a huge basket for me that the Chenoweth basketball moms had put together- full of thoughtful gift cards, signs of hope and a card signed my all our third grade hoopsters. I haven’t felt like eating much but when my lifelong best friend from childhood sent my favorite homemade cookies- I hadn’t tasted anything so delicious! I am not writing all this to brag. But to just share several examples of how amazingly women surround each other and hold each other up when they need it. Crisis has the ability to reconnect friends, re prioritize days and make special outings happen more often (like going out with friends on a couples lunch date to a nice restaurant on a Tuesday afternoon). Who does that? (We did and we are going to keep doing it!) I wish this never happened. I long for our precious life of just 2 weeks ago when I was a cancer survivor, runner, mother, social entrepreneur and so, so happy! But it has. And I hold right to the beauty it has revealed such as the joy of friendship. And I hold tight to the idea that I can fight this a long time… so I can hold up another friend when she needs it.