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Friday, November 28, 2008

Adios Chemos

Well I did it. I had my last chemotherapy treatment on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. I actually completed 8 treatments with the first four being Adriamycin and Cytoxin and the last four being Taxol. It's hard to believe that I stared chemo at the beginning of August, had my surgery in July, was diagnosed in June, and discovered the lump in May. Boy has it been a whirlwind of events since the beginning of all this. I am so thankful that my God held my hand through every treatment, every tear, every doubt, and every angry moment. Thank you God for never giving up on me.

Secondly, thank you Ryan for your unconditional love. If there is one thing that chemotherapy does to you, it really messes with your hormones and your mood. I wouldn't be being honest if I said that I never got angry or mad at Ryan at least once during each treatment. If you have had chemo, you understand what I am talking about, if not, don't bother asking. A good example of what chemo does is occurring at this very minute. It is currently 1:22 am and I am posting this blog. Not because I am just so excited to do a post, but because the steroid I am currently coming off of gives me more energy than I can stand. I will be lucky if I dose back to sleep tonight. Actually, if I leave about right now I bet I can get a great spot in line at Best Buy or Kohl's for Black Friday shopping! thanks! Anyway, back to what I was saying, Ryan has been a huge stepping stone for me throughout this entire process. I wasn't exactly the easiest person to live with before all of this, and then with chemo added to the mix, I know there were days where Ryan was just praying that he would make it through the day....and he always did, by the grace of God. Although I am Charley's mother and always will be, Ryan had to play the roll of Mr. Mom on several occasions. On the few nights I did feel like reading a book to Charley before she went to bed, I would always notice that she was able to point and say the different names of pictures that she had not been able to recognize before. I knew that Ryan had taught Charley these things and in those moments I realized there were some things I had missed out on.

Ryan and I definitely had our moments. I'm not going to lie. Not everything was always "peachy." In the same way I was fighting to beat breast cancer, Ryan was watching me fight breast cancer, feeling helpless, as if he should be the one with the cancer, not me. I think all to often I forgot how those closest to me were also affected by my cancer diagnosis and I have had to remind myself several times that I am not the only victim. Everyone had to deal with it in their own way. Ryan, you were an amazing husband to me throughout all of this. Your were ALWAYS there for me whenever I needed you. You took the weight of the world upon your shoulders and you rarely blinked an eye. You took care of Charley, you took care of me, and you continued to run a business and support your family the best way you knew how. I love you more than you could possibly ever know. You are such an incredible man of God and I have been blessed by you and Charley everyday. The screaming, laughing, and craziness is just what I needed.......sometimes! I love you!

Not only was I a wife and mother suffering from breast cancer at such a young age, I was also a daughter, an only child. My mom knew the battle I was up against when I was diagnosed. She had been diagnosed almost exactly 20 years earlier. She told me it wasn't going to be easy and when it was over I would wonder how I ever made it through. It certainly wasn't easy. That part she was right about. However, I know I made it because of the grace of God, and because of people like her, my dad, Ryan, my in-laws, and so many others who refused to give up on me. We were all suffering in one way or another in the beginning and honestly, I can't imagine what it must have felt like to hear that their only daughter had breast cancer. I pray those are words that my ears never have to hear. I would do it all over again, and again, if I knew it would spare my child. My mom and dad did countless things throughout this process that helped tremendously. One of those things was always giving me encouragement. When I would question the decisions I had made or just feel doubtful, my mom was always there to reassure me. That made a huge difference coming from my mom who had been through this exact thing 20 years earlier, and was still alive!! My dad called me every day that I had a treatment. He would call me from work just to wish me luck, tell me he loves me, and always to tell me how proud he was of me. The past week was extra special when he called to tell me that I had done it, I had beaten the cancer and the chemo journey was going to finally be over. I love you mom and dad and I could NEVER repay you for what you have done for Ryan and I throughout this journey.

My in-laws, Roger and Sharon, were also a huge help. They watched Charley numerous times over the past 5 months and were always there when we call at the last minute. We still do that!!! Our families have grown so much closer through all of this. Something like cancer really makes you value the importance of family and friends.

I could go on and on forever about all the people who have changed my life and made an impact. This post mentions the people closest to me. In the coming days and weeks I plan to write about more people who touched my life throughout this journey. For now, the chemo journey has ended and in the words of Dr. Ellis, "You are cured." Praise Jesus!

Final Treatment.....Number 8!

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Anvil Leather said...

I knew it all along!!! I knew she could do it! Really, I did. God has always been so good to us. He always answers our prayers and never lets us down.....always picks us up.

Melody, I could not be prouder of my wife...YOU are beautiful and strong. THANK YOU for fighting through this for Charley and I.

Enough with the mushy stuff....LETS GO to the CAYMANS!!! (ok, not really yet mel, but surely soon)

I love you and look forward to the next 60 years!


mary ibbetson - ny said...

You did it! We did it!

From now on we rock the pedicure chairs!


*Erica* said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*Erica* said...

You go girl! I am so proud of you! YOU MADE IT!!! Congratulations!

feolafitness said...

You both did it! Your faith and trust in the Lord throughout this whole process has strengthened and encouraged me more than once. I know God will continue to use what you've experienced in this journey to help others. You're a blessing to so many people!

H P Austin said...

Okay got me crying again. What a great blog. Both you and your families have been AWESOME during the entire ordeal. You guys are stronger for it and it shows. We are so proud of you. Love you both, HIL

4rechs said...

Congrats Mel!! Let me know when you start taking bets on what color your hair will be when it grows in!