Two Years

Two years ago today I finished 25 rounds of radiation. Most of my family came (along with Patty, who is pretty much family anyway) to help me celebrate with good drinks, food and company.

It was the end of almost a year of treatments. I walked out of Coborn Cancer Center full of radiation burns and I was thrilled to be done. Bell ringing day is a BFD.

My heart was full of so much optimism. Sure, I didn’t have breasts and my hair resembled G.I. Jane’s, but I’d conquered the mountain. I survived stage III BREAST CANCER.

Fast-forward two years. I’ve had many surgeries, cancer scares, scans, tests, new diagnosis and so many appointments, but never. Did I ever. Think this is what my life would ever look like. I knew that when we talked about cancer again in our lives, it would be a recurrence of my own, somewhere else. That’s usually what happens.

We are struggling to accept Brad’s stage IV diagnosis. Even though it’s stage IV, it’s also a very, very aggressive cancer. That’s an incredibly tough pill to swallow. We find ourselves writing Brad’s medical directive (I’ve been nagging about it for YEARS) and talking about all the things that come with end of life. At least we know where we will be bury our cremains…

This week, we thought Brad would start to feel a lot better. He’s had two rounds of chemo, a prostate procedure and weeks of zero energy. His numbers weren’t great when we were last at the doctor, so he was unable to receive his full dose of chemo. He wants to feel better so bad, and we want it more than anything in the world.

This is such an emotional roller-coaster. The amount of guilt I feel when I forget about cancer for a minute makes me so sad. I can’t imagine how Brad feels. Maybe I can a little, I guess.

Busy week ahead with some road time for me, hockey, and of course, more hockey.

This dog, though! ❤️❤️❤️
Beckham’s team!
Bell-ringing
Celly

Three Weeks and Four Days

That’s how long it’s been since his diagnosis. It’s so hard to believe how little time has actually passed. It seems like a lifetime.

Brad has been up and about, moving and grooving (slowly) without his Foley catheter. No plans to enter Dancing With the Stars anytime soon (does that even exist anymore?!), but at the very least, he is walking without pain from the catheter.

We started round two of immunotherapy/chemo today. Brad has been practicing his snoring techniques for about 4 hours today. He’s getting really damn good at it 🙄. His blood counts are a little lower than expected, so chemo was reduced a bit, but should still be strong enough to kill everything it wants to.

We have had the most amazing support system. Our hockey families are proving to be so amazing, over and over. They are all rooting for us. I can’t believe the amount of time and effort people will just give away when a friend is in need.

We continue to feel the love.

Ailee’s U10 team vs. St Cloud. They all taped their sticks blue to support Brad.
The snore sessions
“In This Family…
No One Fights Alone!”
Valentine dinner

Update

Brad bid farewell to his wing-man? BFF? Happy birthday balloon? Foley catheter just sounds so boring. Anyway, Brad is currently Foley catheter-free.

His current favorites are:

  • Peeing
  • Walking without really awful pain
  • Rolling over in bed. Any idea what that takes to roll over in bed when your penis is attached to a medical device? I sure don’t.
  • Sitting (kinda)
  • Coughing without feeling like his insides were coming out
  • Sleeping

So far, so good. Thankfully, his bladder has had 46(ish (not counting the potty training year(s)) to remember what to do when it’s been turned off for awhile. There is so much more progress to be made, but we’ll take them when they come. One mountain per day.

Thankful for the little things! And for GRANDMA AND GRANDPA

Tomorrow is a BFD

Ok. Here’s your warning. If you are squeamish in regards to medical descriptions, you may want to take a pass on this one.

The day of Brad’s prostate biopsy, January 21st, Brad had a Foley catheter placed in order to be able to expel urine after the procedure. This catheter has been removed and replaced multiple times, and caused some complications with clotting and latex sensitivity (the absolute worst possible situation). He has been chained to this catheter the entire time.

Tomorrow is the day it’ll be removed (again) with high hopes all is successful.

Doctor appointments are still almost every day, but that includes myself as I still have a few lingering about that will hopefully be a little more predictable in the future. I believe my next step is to have a COPD action plan, so that when I start to feel ill, I will have the medications on hand so I’m not exposing myself to a clinic (sick)environment to get the medications I need when I feel pneumonia brewing. My dad has one, too. But I’m 40.

As soon as possible, the immediate goal is to have Brad up, out of bed, without his leash. And his ultimate goal, is to have Brad attend both A and B’s hockey games next weekend. The are both playing for Brad. Have I told you how amazing I feel like our hockey teams are this year?! Ugh. They are my sanity. We all love this team and these boys and girls and coaches! The tears, love and support is amazing. I hear all of the voices cheering for our kids. All they want to do is help. 💚💙💚💙. Man, I’m thankful for our teams.

We are all figuring out how to do this. I’m doing my best to be sure everyone is taken care of. We’re all in it for the same thing.

Brad.

#bradtothebone

p

Family And I Didn’t Even Know It

I forget what normal feels like. I wonder, when I catch myself smiling, why I feel so guilty about it. I worry, about so many things.

We’ve been doctoring every single day since we found out. That’s been a lot of trips to and from the Cancer Center, the urologist, the Healing Center….. for myself, the cardiac/respiratory area of the hospital for more tests to find out why I have emphysema and a crazy-fast heart rate. Is it secondary side effects of chemo/radiation? Not sure, but I’d like to be able to breath again. I’ve asked myself every day if it’s just a broken heart.

I’m so thankful for all of my people. This is incredible to witness the outpouring of love that we feel. Brad feels it. Our kids feel it. We all do.

Thank you for carrying us.

💚💙💚💙💚💙

The good is here when we look for it.

This last week and two days has been the worst hell-storm I’ve ever thought capable of surviving. So very slowly we are starting to see some of the good.

There is nothing in this world that feels better than a good friend (that is sometimes also family) to take over for you. To pick up your children, to come to your home when you need a haircut because you just can’t, to bring groceries (especially fresh fruit. Brad loves fresh fruit.) to bring a bottle of wine, to give you the strongest hug you’ve ever had, to cry with you and cry for you, to buy hockey tape for the whole team in support of Brad, for all the love and kindness in gifts or otherwise, for helping us do what we have to do….. you are so good to us. I’m sorry that I haven’t had time for thank you notes or much at all, but my time is best spent elsewhere.

So much good.

Brad has had a couple of ok days. There have been a couple of moments where I almost forgot about C. Sitting is almost impossible for him, too much pressure on his tumors.

His port was placed on Friday. This will make chemo appointments much easier and way more comfortable. I remember this port procedure on me and how painful it was to recover from.

I’ve continued to work and find it comforting to be in my environment. I work with some pretty great people. Plus, We are so lucky to have Brad’s parents help. They went home for the weekend to finish up some items and will come back next week.

So much good.

My family is on the way to visit today, and some neighbors earlier. That’s the kind of stuff that makes the world go ’round.

We are very loved.