I’ve always considered myself to be a pretty positive person. I like to believe in the good of people and I make a conscious effort to bring it out in other people. Cancer has a funny way of playing mind tricks on you and even in your happiest moments it seems to creep in and nip you in the butt.
I’m not going to lie… it’s been a tough week filled with many ups and downs. I haven’t spoken to much about the effects chemo has done on my body and I’ve heard many of you say to me… “wow, I can’t imagine Nikki sick!”. Well, this past week you might have said… “wow, I can’t believe Nikki is so sick.” It’s an emotional ride to be someone who has high energy and a smile from ear to ear and truly loves life her family and her friends. I knew being diagnosed would have it’s temporary madness – but nothing prepares you for the dark days. I have chemo on Wednesdays and typically I feel fatigued but pretty good overall until Friday. Maybe this is because I have a heavy concoction of every god dam pill you can imagine to take throughout my days of chemo and days following. Friday and Saturdays seem to be the hardest and then I start to feel better by Sunday night and Monday I get my “nikki” back. This week was much different, I had a tough weekend and saw no sign of relief until last night just in time to return to my last week of chemo today. It was to be expected that it would catch up to me and that my body would be extremely fatigued, but I’m not only fatigued and nauseous the early symptoms of my medical induced menopause have begun to set in. The words… “Is it hot in here?” have hit officially hit my vocab! I’ve spent many afternoons in the clinics talking to nurses, doctors, re-explaining symptoms – I’ve had some heavy bleeding which they say I shouldn’t so this results in getting poked multiple times for extra bloodwork, ECG tests because of chest heaviness, which might be a result of many things, something as simple as anxiety or something as serious as a blood clot in your lung! WTF?! Just so you know… all is clear right now – my magnesium and blood counts are low this week but not low enough that I need a blood transfusion that’s great!
If you know me, you know that I can’t even stomach a multi vitamin. I’m the first to admit that not even during my pregnancies did I take any pregnancy vitamins – I just choose to really watch what was going into my body and make a conscious decision to take care of myself and my mind. The thing about going through chemo/radiation is that you don’t get the option. Well, I suppose you do – I could opt to not have treatment but that would be silly, and I’m not silly. I feel like I drink rat poison on Wednesday and then I take every pill possible to not let my body go into shock. I have discovered that my body is not my own – I feel as if it has been borrowed and like an old library book it’s overdue to come back. This time the pages a little more torn, some bunny ears marked and some important pages highlighted. I have surrendered to this time in my life not being my own, as in there is no control over the entire situation – it’s very similar to how I felt as a new mother. If… and only if you completely surrender to your situation and your surroundings can you be a little bit more at peace and find joy in it. I know, I know, find joy in screaming babies and cancer – sounds like one of those ridiculous quotes or self help books but I’m being really honest here. There are times in my life where I have had full control, you drive the ship and you make magic happen and then there are times, maybe even reminders… to slow down… really slow down, be patient, be still and listen. Listen to your husband and what he needs as he is overwhelmed by all of this too, listen to your friends and what they are going through because you know they are concerned… sometimes scared… sometimes sad, listen to your babies… they need their mamma, listen to your body… it’s screaming at you! When is the last time you did something great for your mind, your body? I don’t think you should do it because a magazine told you to do it – I think you should do it because it just fuckin feels good. The luxury of relaxation and rejuvenation of your inner spirit, it’s a thing. Sitting in waiting rooms allows for a lot of time for your mind to wander and if I could get everything I wanted to say onto this blog you would be full time reading. Strangely, Cancer has released an even more creative side to me and I’m pretty excited about it. It has allowed me time to be patient, draw, re-connect with friends and family and most of all it has allowed me more time with my husband. We are both busy people and fill our lives with busy agendas, we have 3 businesses – and then add a 20month and 4month old into the mix and it’s family madness. I wouldn’t change a thing but I will tell you that I am extremely grateful for his time and the attention he has devoted to me during this cancer journey. I think one of the most difficult things about being diagnosed is the time that it takes away from your family and cancer has given me time with my family. Victor’s mother Vicky has been here since May. She came to help out with Sofie and then was here for the summer before our trip to Belize and as soon as I got my diagnosis she unpacked her car and moved in. Super Nana. Most families would have a difficult time to have one person off going through treatment. As soon as I knew my treatment plan Victor informed work that he wouldn’t be returning to work until after my treatment and even then it would be a slow transition and that his Mom would be here for as long as we needed to get through this. People have asked how I have stayed so positive throughout this experience and my answer is very simple. I’m not alone – I feel completely loved and supported by all of my friends and family and mostly by my best friend, my husband. He has been to every appointment and held my hand and wiped my tears throughout it all. While we wait for appointments we spend time colouring, drawing, asking questions, teaching photography and falling in love with one another all over again. People say we change over time and I couldn’t agree more with that statement. We want different things. So we are spending this time to re-connect and ask eachother what those things are so that when the dust settles we can work on those new projects. We are “catching up” and it feels magical and I’m thanking cancer for that. I don’t thank cancer for much of anything else, but I don’t spend my time being angry and I don’t think any of you should either – it doesn’t deserve your energy. Trust me.
I’ll leave you with lots and lots of photos from the last week. Wish me luck today and know that I feel all of your love and support. Just close your eyes and open your heart and send a love hug through the air… I’ll catch it.
Love notes. ❤
I haven’t had much of an appetite but one of the things I crave most is a cup of tea made by Miss Cindy – nothing compares and “Carol’s mixed salad!” Simple but there is just something about it. She sent some with Cindy last week and the duct tape “Shake well before using” was omg classic.
Waiting rooms. Lots of waiting. Below… I can’t help but find so much humour in the “complimentary wipe yourself” tissue box.
Cancer doesn’t care that you have children, or sick children for that matter. Poor Charlotte spiked a fever of 40.7 last week – ended up at sick kids with a UTI but she’s on the mend!