Monday, December 3, 2012

Just Keeping On...

Zeek - 5 weeks old

I love Christmas!  I love the lights, the smells, the music.  I love the awe and wonder in my kids' eyes... sending Santa letters (Yes, they all still believe in Santa), seeing where the elf on the shelf has moved to, baking cookies, buying presents, drinking a peppermint mocha (only on occasion though because those things are so stinkin' sweet and I really do prefer my coffee to taste like coffee...cream, no sugar).  Despite the fact that I love Christmas, I'm having a hard time really getting into the Christmas mood.  I just don't have the energy.

Being pregnant with cancer was a lot easier for me than being a new mom with cancer.  It was easier to take care of myself when I was doing it for the sake of the little boy who was growing inside of me and needed a healthy mom for the sake of his own health.  It was easier to ask for help and to not feel guilty for receiving help when it was for the sake of my unborn child.  But when it's just for me... I can suffer through it... I can be stoic and act like things aren't affecting me as much as they actually are.  Here I find myself so tired... both physically and emotionally.  In the past six months I have had two surgeries, four months of chemo, and delivered a baby.  My body is tired.  My emotional state is not only harried by the natural emotional roller coaster caused by the postpartum hormones but it is also completely warped by the fear and exhaustion that comes from having cancer.  I like the little bubble that I have created for myself.  It's a safe little bubble where I don't think about cancer and what could happen.  But then sometimes I step outside of that bubble and I hear about women whose cancer has metastasized and their fear becomes contagious.  I don't want to live in fear.  I don't want cancer to have that power over me.  Cancer can't win that battle. I won't allow it.  I will live with hope and faith.  

My battle with cancer is not over but it feels like people think that it is over because I've delivered my healthy little bundle of joy into this world and got good news with the PET scan.  I got a clean scan and I was so relieved but what the scan means is that the cancer that was in my breast did not metastasize and start growing tumors in my liver or my bones or anywhere else.  Treatment is still just as vital as ever.  Cancer was in my breast and spread to my lymph nodes.  The lymph nodes could have sent cancer cells traveling throughout my body, ready to attack anywhere at any time.  

I just got home from number two of my final twelve chemo treatments.  The side effects were pretty intense this week.  Neuropathy is a common side effect and I was expecting it but there is really no preparing for the unknown.  I have been experiencing extreme throbbing pain and weakness in my forearms and shins.  It comes and goes at random times throughout the day and night.  It hasn't been debilitating in any way but it does concern me at times.  I get nervous when I'm holding Ezekiel and it happens... especially at night when I'm tired and not functioning well anyways.  I also get nervous when I'm driving because sometimes I have a physical response to the pain.  It comes on so quick and strong that all of a sudden I have to focus really hard on what I'm doing.  I tell you, chemo and newborns are not a great combination but boy, am I in love with my little guy and so happy to have him to focus on.  My kids bring me so much joy.  I can't imagine what it would be like without their beautiful little faces to brighten my day.

Daphne adoring Ezekiel


  1. I wished I lived there to help you out! I pray for you often.

  2. Rebecca........what a beautiful baby boy!!!!! He is precious. Keep your focus on the Lord, my Pastor recently said to me.......don't focus on all the storms in your life or you will sink....keep your focus on the Lord and he won't let you sink. That helped me alot. I am praying for you and all you are going through. You will get through all this.....take care and be blessed.
    Lisa Gallardo

  3. The countdown begins! We kept track of every single chemo infusion bag and checked them off of a list during my treatment. It almost became a game to us! It helped me focus on the goal of completing treatment and moving on with my life. Stay strong, you are doing great! Love!