I Am a Damn Sunflower

This was today’s calendar quote – it seemed so relevant to me.

“You are sowing the flowers of tomorrow in the seeds of today”

I’ve had so many thoughts swirling around in my head the past few weeks and honestly have been meaning to type them out but the motivation has been SO LOW. I read a post a while back my friend and fellow cancer fighter, Kait wrote about Taxol and how while it was much easier physically than AC… mentally, it was a whole different ballgame. I am approximately 5 weeks behind Kait in our treatment plans. We have different types of breast cancer, different stories – but we can relate on a TON of things, and I find her to be incredibly inspirational. She is only 22 and has the strength and courage of someone 3x her age. I am so thankful I found her. At the time, I wondered if I would have a similar experience with Taxol, and now that I’m here… I can whole heartedly agree with her.

p.s. Kait finishes her chemo treatment TODAY and I couldn’t be more excited for her! Congrats girl! Check out her amazing story here.

With 5 weeks left, it’s easy to say that the mental piece to this journey has completely taken over, leaving me feeling pretty defeated some days. I realize that for me, it is so much more than just my cancer and dealing with all of those emotions. I miss my dad so much and sometimes I think I confuse my grieving for him with feeling down about my own situation, but who wouldn’t I guess.Β  I’ve leaned hard into my faith that he is right beside me helping me through each day and giving me the strength to keep going. I see signs from him all the time, and even had a dream the other night where I got to actually HUG him – I feel like it was real. For those who knew him when he was younger, in my dream he was sporting a mustache and so healthy. πŸ™‚

Remaining mentally stable and optimistic these past weeks has been so hard, surviving in limbo during the “middle somewhere” of treatment.

In the beginning, each day I brought my best smile and positive attitude. I powered through, avoided negativity, listened to my body and let myself rest without feeling guilty or lazy. I remember taking a walk with Casey and saying, “I deserve to beat this and live a long, happy life. I am a good person, I try to spread kindness and feel like I do a good job of bringing happiness to my piece of the world.” And so – I set out to do just that. It was going really well… better than I thought it would. I somehow flew through one of the hardest chemo regimens in cancer with fewer side effects than many of my fellow fighters. (It still sucked so hard, but I know just how fortunate I am.)

Maybe these are the dog days of chemo for me – kind of like how Tuesdays are the worst day of the week; these days are the worst part of chemo. Close to the end, but still so far to go. It’s so challenging. Lately when I feel unmotivated and watch endless hours of tv, I feel SO guilty. I miss working and contributing to society. It sucks.

Cancer has stripped away so much of me – it has shown me who I am at my core and I have to say that I am actually thankful to it for that. I feel embarrassed by how vain I was, placing so much value in my hairstyle and feeding the beauty monster. Ha, let’s be honest here, I’m still vain, that hasn’t changed. I can’t wait for my hair to grow back and I still paint my nails every dang week because it’s the last shred of beauty I feel like I can control. But I think I will always appreciate these things a little more when this is all over.

I am told almost every single day how strong I am, how brave I am, I am a warrior, I’m beautiful and inspirational… but still, every single day for at least part of the day I feel lost and scared. I cry every day. I fear for my future and my family and sometimes, my life. I honestly try not to go down the rabbit hole of doom, I rarely Google my cancer, and I generally stay away from negative or depressing stories about cancer… but sometimes it gets the best of me and I can’t help myself. I hate going to the dark place, because that is SO NOT ME. I’m a damn sunflower and I know I’ll get through this, for Casey and Dane, for my family, my dad in Heaven, my friends and mostly because I deserve to.

On Monday, I got the incredible news that my tumor is undetectable via ultrasound. It took two technicians plus a radiologist telling me it was gone for me to actually believe it. Tears of joy were shed in the very same room that in April I had my biopsies to diagnose the thing in the first place.

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I made sure to document my joy after I received the news.

I meet with my surgeon to talk next steps and hopefully schedule surgery. I am anxious to get this date nailed down and have a plan because Lord knows I do much better when I can anticipate things. As of now, I am planning for a double mastectomy with reconstruction right away – super scary stuff but honestly I know I’m strong enough for pretty much anything at this point, so bring it on.

Okay, there’s that. I feel better now. Thanks as always, for reading, cheering and being the best village I could ever ask for. xo


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Wisconsin wife and mama to Dane (4) and expecting baby girl in May. Navigating life post-cancer. Lover of food, red wine and laughs. Forever grateful for my wonderful life.

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