I went back and read my last post this morning to give myself a boost and remember the feelings of carefree joy I was brimming with just a couple weeks ago. Life has hit us hard. I read the post to refocus my thoughts on gratefulness and remember how blessed we were to have had this summer together. But, the reality check has been a doozy.
The kids are back in school and doing great. We love our school (Louisville Collegiate) and they are destined for a good school year with wonderful teachers, great teams, eager minds and a wonderful school community surrounding them. They haven’t missed a beat transitioning and that is huge. huge!
But, the returning to reality of life with metastatic breast cancer was like running straight into a brick wall for me. I made my re-entry to reality by way of 18 hours in the car over a three day period (driving home from Michigan then to Alabama for a surprise party for a dear friend, visiting another friend and then back home for a baby shower of another dear friend)… all that driving caused me to have some major back pain and has left me still reeling in discomfort. Which has been hard after a summer of strength and good health. I have a PET scan tomorrow (Friday) to determine if the pain is caused by tumor growth. My first reoccurrence of metastatic breast cancer was found after a long car ride lead to back pain that simply wouldn’t go away… so I’m incredibly anxious. Still holding out hope that it is just bone (a side effect of treatment ) and muscle pain that was exacerbated by all the time in the car… I will keep you posted on what we find out.
But, this is reality. The pain, fear and frustration. Someone asked me why I feel so good in Michigan and if I am trying to bring some of that back to Louisville. I laughed and said I think I felt so good because I simply checked out – I didn’t let cancer into our life in Michigan. However, that simply isn’t reality. Cancer is a big part of our every day, my past and my future. I wish I could live in denial – believe me it is a much happier place. However, it’s just not sustainable. Yet, I crave the feeling of freedom I had this summer and I am working on what that balance looks like in “reality.” How to let myself be joyful in the moment while also living in the muck that is metastatic breast cancer.
In the meantime I take my mind off things by pouring myself into Hope Scarves while the kids are in school. We are gearing up for our annual event Colors of Courage on September 25th. It is a magical evening to celebrate all the people we connect with at Hope Scarves – their stories, hopes and courage. To remember those we have lost and to raise money for metastatic breast cancer research. If you are interested in joining us or making a donation please visit our website www.hopescarves.org
We continue to have lots of fun as a family – bike rides, soccer games, spending time with Louisville friends we missed this summer and simply just being together as Team Mac. In this weird combination of laughter and fear we plod (one of Wills’ spelling words this week!) through the muck of reality. Finding joy and laughter in precious moments, making time to go on adventures as a family and continue the fun we loved in Michigan in between the homework, practices, treatments, scans and responsibilities. A wise friend once told me “all this is manageable in the day.”
I hope tomorrow is a good day with hopeful news that this cancer remains NED (no evidence of disease). But, if it does show our first signs of progression (that we have been fearing for a year )we will dig in and make a plan to take the next steps. Determined to live our life to the fullest, one day at a time.
One day at a time…