Surgery Date Set

December 15th.

Dear God, please let my hair grow back a little before they cut off my breasts. Amen.

In the beginning of my diagnosis, so many time periods were given to us that I didn’t remember the part where my doctors told me that I would be without breasts for about Six. Months.  For real.  Don’t worry though. I get to wear “puffs” in my bras if I want to 😩.

I was fitted for post surgery bras, which are essentially ace bandages with Velcro closure bands and straps with pockets to hold the drain tubes and bulbs.  It’s all very Victoria Secret-esque.  Be jealous.

Aside from that, I’m going through medically induced menopause.  The cancer in my breast and lymph nodes is estrogen positive, so estrogen must be removed from the equation.  I’ve already had procedures in the past that have removed the menstruation aspect, but this is waaaaaaay different.

The hot flashes are instant and somewhat debilitating. The weight gain is horrifying and I’m currently waiting to grow a beard.   Can’t wait.

Halloween is coming up.  I’ve been worried for a long time about what to wear or do.  I don’t want the trick-or-treaters to stare, but I also don’t want to hide.  Every year, we have been homebase for friends to gather and carb-load before the insulin shock.  We decided to do the same this year.  I wanted to dress up as a Conehead, because, why not?!  I think I just throw on a witch’s hat and call it good.

Here’s to hoping the Vikings win and Halloween is a success!

Yippy!!  Seven down!

I only have One. More. Left!  

In about a month, I will have surgery to finally remove my cancerous breasts.  Believe it or not, that has been way heavy on my mind.  Just get rid of the damn things… I will have to wait to have reconstruction, so for the first time in a long time, I don’t have to wear a bra!!!!!  TMI?  Maybe, but it’s a very real feeling.  About a week after surgery, I will start radiation therapy for my cancerous lymph nodes.  This will be Monday through Friday for 5-6 weeks.  Side effects will be cumulative with radiation.  I’ll feel pretty good to begin with, then likely by the end of treatment (probably during the week of Christmas) I’ll feel the total effects.  Fatigue, skin changes, nausea, hair loss (at the treatment site, which I don’t have any there anyway due to chemo), but really very minimal compared to what I’m presently experiencing.

Our siding and roof are finally done.  As I mentioned before, we had storm damage on both, so thankfully our insurance picked up the tab.  I’m so happy it’s done (literally finishing the cleanup riiiiiight now), and I’ll be able to get some rest this week without construction noise.  I’m also so thankful for insurance.  

Ailee is getting more and more used to me not having hair, but she still gives me a billion compliments when I wear wigs.  “Oh, you are so beautiful, Mommy!”, “you look like a princess today, Mommy!” Which usually leads into, “will your hair be the same color as it was before Mom?”, “how long will it take for you to look the same as you used to?” And Beckham’s favorite question is, “will you let me braid your hair when it comes back, Mom?”

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about memories and how each of us are perceived after death.  Will Kayla remember all the times we would sing together in the car?  Will she remember the time I handed her to a tall stranger at the Jack Johnson concert so he could put her on his shoulders (what in the hell was I thinking?) and let her see Jack Johnson in the flesh about 10 feet from us?  Will Ailee remember our latest trip to Art As You Like It, or all the times we did manicures and pedicures together?  Will Beckham remember all the times on road trips that I sat in the backseat and giggled with him? Will he remember how we taught him how to read?”  I don’t think I’m dying, but I really do want to leave a lasting positive impression (no matter how much time I have) and know that my family feels loved.  Do I show them enough?  

So many people have shown their acts of kindness in so many ways.  I’m sorry for not always sending thank you notes or calling.  Please know that I think about all of you often and sometimes you literally make my entire day or week.  

In 14 days I will be free of chemotherapy (hopefully) forever!  ❤️ 

🤣😂🤣

Big Week Ahead

Chemo Tuesday, surgery consult Wednesday, genetics appointment Thursday.  Ahhhhh, the life!

I really want my eyebrows and eyelashes back!  It’s bizarre looking in the mirror without makeup.  It’s the difference between looking “sick” or not.  I tried false eyelashes today for a day date with a great friend.  Brad agreed that they looked fake (insert eye roll.  Why did I even ask?!).  

We’re getting closer and closer to the finish line.  

How my kids act in public

Round 7, coming right up!

It dawned on me just this last week that this might not be curable.  I’ve actually never asked.
I believe it was Sunday. I started to do research and understood that with stage III,  I have a 72% to 85% survivability after five years. One might say that’s pretty good odds, but that means that I have a 15% to 28% chance that I will die within five years.  Five.  Quite honestly, the statistics put me in a pretty terrible mind space for 24 hours or so. It seems that every piece of new information that’s delivered regarding my prognosis leads to about a day of devastation followed by finding my new fulcrum point.   In that same space of time I usually feel very, very numb and worry about the pain that my family will feel in watching me die.  The worst part of all of this is the pain that it will bring to The people that I love.  I don’t want my kids to be without their mom. I don’t want my husband to be without a wife. I don’t want my parents to lose a child.

On the flip side, this is the very definition of perspective. Living in this mind space can be hard at times, but I am loving more wholly, and doing everything I can to show the people that I care about what they mean to me. I’m trying not to waste this life.  I still have accomplishments to make and mountains to climb.  I want to see Hawaii and Mexico.  I want to eat pasta in Italy and have a pint in Ireland.  I want to see my daughters become the amazing women they are destined to be.  I want to see Beckham grow taller than his dad.

I’m just not ready to die.

 

 

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Winning

This journey is one of the most difficult journeys I’ve ever been on. But here I sit, six chemo treatments complete, and I feel as though I’ve already won. 

Life continues around me with activities that I still need to attend and work I still need to accomplish, but my body isn’t appreciating all that I’m putting it through. I’ve had so many aches and pains these last couple of days which I had last round as well. I had a nice walk this morning, but have felt pretty terrible Most of the time otherwise.

Beckham had a flag football game this morning and grandma and grandpa Harrison came up to see him play before they head south for the winter.  Grandma and grandpa Redden also came and we gathered outside in the 48° Minnesota weather to watch Beckham play.  I loved it. But-my body did not. Standing hurts. Sitting hurts. Laying hurts. I think I probably have one more day of pain before the symptoms fromChemotherapy will get any better. 

As I sit here and think of all of the things that I wish I could be doing today, I still feel as though I’ve won this battle. I’m reminded every single day that I have amazing people around me that help me accomplish all of the tasks that I need to.

To my neighbors- There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for you. For helping to mow the lawn, for the meals, for being with my kids, for letting me kidnap your dog, for always smiling and waving and asking how I’ve been.  There are no words to describe how awesome you all are.

To the teachers at Foley elementary school, especially Mrs. D, and Mrs. A-thank you for being the moms at school for my kids. Thank you for your extra hugs and kindness. Thank you for your endless resources that help my Littles get through every day. They are so very innocent, thank you for helping us keep them that way for as long as we can.

To all of my friends either past or present-each time one of you reaches out to me either on Facebook, text, snail mail or any other Avenue, you absolutely make my day.  Every single time.

To my family-I’m so sorry that this happened to you and your family I can’t imagine the pain of watching your child go through something like this. I am incredibly thankful that it happened to me and not one of you.  I’d take this on a million times over to keep you healthy.

Thank you. 

I’m winning because of you.

You are the good.

Cancer

Today, my dad said goodbye to his brother.  

I said goodbye to my uncle.  

My cousins said goodbye to their dad.

My aunt said goodbye to her husband. 

I was able to hear his voice a couple of weeks ago as we navigated through our different paths together. We were able to talk about this disease raviging each of our bodies at different rates.  I told him I loved him.  He told me the same.  

We both cried. 

We cried together tears of empathy.  Each for the other.  

Tomorrow I get to have round six.  My uncle?  He does not. 

F. Cancer. 

Only 3 More to Go!

Why isn’t there a coupon for cancer?  You know, since we have cancer, everything should be a little bit cheaper, making our lives just a little bit easier???  I swear that half of the “battle” is adjusting to the diagnosis AND the hit your pocketbook will take (what the hell is a pocketbook anyway?!)

Well, aside from the financials, this chemotherapy has brought an entirely new onslaught of symptoms….which was expected.  I’m actually more nauseous than ever along with having a few cases of the throw-ups.  HOWEVER!  Nothing quite prepared me for the pain and paresthesia I am experiencing.  If I were to describe it, I think I might say that it feels like I have arthritis in every joint, muscle and connective tissue in my body.  Mind you, I am the woman the opts to not have any anesthetic at my dental treatments (cough, cough…. as if I have had any, but whatever).  I am also the woman who has chosen natural childbirth. I’ve had medical procedures without anesthetic by choice. But this shit is a whole new level.  I’m actually handling it OK today, and likely the next few days are going to get better and better. Overall, I would still take this chemotherapy over the last chemotherapy that I was having. At least with this one, I feel a little bit more “normal” most of the time, although I’m not sure that I can remember what normal really is anymore.

We had a great weekend visiting my first born. I chose being active and happy over sleeping/resting.  

I wouldn’t have changed a thing ❤️ 

P.S. I really, really want my eyebrows back!  


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