Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who has two thumbs and a completely normal MRI?

This girl!! Hooray! My pelvic and abdominal MRI were all completely normal with no evidence of disease. I'm so thankful.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Scan day

I have an MRI, chest Xray and blood work today. I'm feeling almost calm. I know whatever the results are, there's nothing I can do to change it so I'm just enjoying my lazy morning with my kiddos. I hope I get the resluts quickly. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

364 days ago

Well, this has been the most unexpected, intense, whirlwind of a year.   Sitting down to even write this post is almost too overwhelming.  So, so much has happened in just 12 months.  But, I have a lot to say so here I go....
November 19, 2012,  I woke up like any other morning.  I was still recovering from the exploratory lap that I had undergone 6 days prior, but I was feeling better and relieved that the mysterious pain was finally gone for good.  Boy was I wrong! I got the call around 9 in the morning.  I just happened to answer my phone before I jumped into the shower since I recognized the number.  It was my doctor; the one who did the surgery.  Of course I immediately started rambling and talking about how great I felt and how I wasn't afraid of surgery anymore (yes, I laugh that those words came out of my mouth).  I'll never forget hearing "two tumors were found in the pathology of your appendix".  The wind was literally knocked out of me.  I couldn't breathe.  I couldn't talk.  I couldn't move.  To say I went into a panic attack would be an understatement.  She hung up with me and actually drove over to my house.  In the 3 minutes it took her to get to my house, I called my mom.  I said, "mom, you have to come over, right now... I have cancer".  Of course those words did not come out clearly and I had to say it over and over before she understood what I was saying.  Mom, I'm sorry for breaking the news that way.  That must have been the worst phone call of your life.  I really am sorry.  She and I hung up, I threw on clothes and told vika to keep the kids upstairs until I told her it was ok to come downstairs.  There was a knock on my door and my amazing doctor walked in and hugged me.  How could this happen to me?  I was in absolute shock. We sat at my dining room table and I wrote down the names of the two different cancers I had been living with.  I hadn't called Sean yet because he had a very important doctor appointment that I didn't want him to miss. My doctor told me I needed to call him, but I just couldn't say those words to him, so she did it for me.  How can I ever thank her.  First she trusted me enough to believe me that something was wrong; then she operated on me and found the cancer; then she cared enough to come over on her day off to sit with me and she took the burden of telling my husband I had cancer off of my shoulders and did it for me.  I called my dad. My sisters.  Everyone came over.  What a horrible day.
This past year has taught me so much. I am a completely different person now.  I am strong.  I am healthy. I am happy.  I am aware of every single blessing in my life.  I take nothing for granted.  I am thankful.  I am humbled.  I take joy in the simplest things in life.
It took me a while to heal physically and emotionally from the two surgeries.  I remember feeling so emotionally broken in January.  But as time went on I got stronger.  I worked so hard on myself.  Lots of therapy, lots of self discovery, lots of deep breaths.
This year had one more  event that I have yet to write about.  Though ultimately it had no direct relation to me having cancer, Sean and I have seperated and are very close to being divorced.  Out of respect for us both, I will not go into details of why.
I will say that despite the past 12 months, I can truly proclaim that I am happier then I have ever been.  I am thankful for every single day.  Not taking life for granted makes life seem so full. I was jogging the other day, watching fish fly out of the water and I literally laughed out loud every single time a fish jumped.  Then I laughed at myself for laughing at the fish.  Seriously, this is my life now. I literally find happiness in the littlest things.
There is NO way I could be where I am today without all of the amazing people in my life.  I am humbled by the amount of love and support I received this year. I still get choked up thinking about all of the kindness I received.
To my mom and dad. Thank you for putting on a brave face for me. Charna and Tila, thank you for making me laugh even though we were all scared to death.  I actually think this year may have been harder on you four then it was on me.  Thank you for loving me, sitting with me, supporting me and being strong when I wasn't able even though you were just as scared as I was.  Thank you to my family, Taryn, Larry, Don, Shaina, Alec, Bob, Larry, Ming, everyone in S. Florida and Jeff, Noelle and all of my other NY family and even my family in the US and Israel that I have never even met. To my other family, Roberta, Rachel, Pete, Elan, Mark.... thank you.  Thank you Alicia and Brad for helping me and being with me in those early days.  Brad, I could never thank you enough for getting me into see the oncologist as quickly as you did.  To all of my amazing friends, Hannah and Nick, Marc and Melissa, Todd and Jennifer, Helen and Gabe, Bryan and Nancy, Rich and Yolanda, Mark and Tamara, Scott, Tim and Taffy, Jana and James, Danielle and Marty, Shane, Mike and Tatianna, Steve, Mike and Christine, Jonna, Lisa, Christie, Stacia, John, Megan, Katie, Bill, Dave, Jody, Rusty and Mandy, Nicole, Sandra, Stephanie, Tabatha, Bev, Marci, Julie, Donna and Les, Marcie and Owen, Eddie and Donna, Jackie, Karen, Barbara, Traci, Heather, Valerie, Allison, Casey, Dottie, Stacy, Amber, Kim, Pattie, Samantha, Kim and Mark, Jessica, Ruth, Dana, Hutchinson Family, Weldon family, Gene and Wanda, Adrienne, Rabbi Weizman, Father David, Jenny, Eric and Rayna, Maria, Craig and Anna, Jeff, Barbara, Sam, Kathy and Homer, Darren, Nisha and Jin, Alex and Ashley, Jerilyn, Stephanie, Jeff and Danny, Danielle, Michelle, Marlene, Brandon and Kasey, Lisa and Sam, Liz, Rhianna, Vika, Barbara and Fran, Paige, Larry, Lily, Tobie, Karen, Jonathan, Mark everyone on facebook that has reached out to me, all of my children's friends parents that reached out to me, everyone who sent or brought me a meal after my surgery, for the prayers, flowers, cards and so many other amazing gestures of support and love.... I just can't type how thankful I am.  To my doctors... Jennifer- I am so thankful that through this we have become friends.  I think of you as the one who saved my life.  Thank you. Dr. Strosberg- you're one smart man.  I'm glad you're on my team.  Dr. Hodul, Dr. Blanco, and the other surgical oncologist I met with... thank you for taking the time to sit with me and for attempting to calm me down. Dr. Dae, Tim, Geri and Traci, thank you for listening to me and helping me process through the many emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis. Dr. Bartlett and his entire team.... I'll see you in a few weeks, but thanks in advance for being awesome;). Thank you to Merck, the company I work for, for having amazing health insurance.  Sean, I know me going through this was like you going through this and I know we did the best we could.  Thank you for being strong when I couldn't be.  Thank you.  To Ava and Liam, you two gave me strength and the will to fight and be strong.  You both are my entire world and I am so fortunate to be your mom.  I'm sure I missed some people but please know that nothing went unnoticed.  I felt every prayer.  There is no way I could have emotionally survived this year without the amazing people in my life. Thank you so much.