Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What is strong and brave?

Over the last 11 days since I received my diagnosis I've been called strong, brave and even an inspiration. I appreciate those comments whole heartedly, but I'm curious what people who say this mean. Mostly because I feel like the cowardly lion, or a small child who wants to run and hide not be brave. And sometimes I'm so emotional I can't even carry my own weight I do not feel strong.
Today was a long day with all the appts. that were scheduled, a very emotional day I wanted to cower in the corner and cry mostly. Not be brave or strong. We learned more about my cancer, we learned first and foremost they did not get it all in surgery they missed as defined by the pathologist a "tiny focal" area that depending on tomorrow's case meeting with all my doctors may require another surgery. We also learned that I have a very rare type of cancer called pagents disease, which besides the lumps has several other symptoms that I was not knowingly experiencing. We learned that it will take a total of 53 treatments beginning six weeks after my last surgery 20 Chemo over a span of around 5 months and 33 radiation treatments, Mon-Fri. for 15 minutes every day until the 33 are complete, and then I will take a pill for the next 5 years as continued treatment. Once that is finished in 6 months or so I can go in for reconstruction surgery.
I was able to get 2 of the 4 drains that I have in my sides removed, which I can still feel the pain from, it was incredibly painful and at the same time I was so glad to have at least some of them out. They were my #1 drains which started clear up by my collar bone and went out the sides of me. The other drains my #2 drains are said to be under my incisions near where the bottom of my breast was...I'm told those aren't as painful but still not enjoyable to have removed.

So when I think about strong and brave I do not see myself, but I'm glad others seem to think so my evil plan is working.
The road ahead is long, and frankly scary as hell from what I imagine hell to be. Its kinda lonely, and dark, but I've got a match and I feel like there are people with lanterns along the way, its just going to take me one step at a time and to find them, and to realize at the end of the night the "son" has never failed to rise again. Its just sometimes easier said then done. So thank you friends and family for your encouragement. Please Please don't let it stop because I'm still searching for you all one step at a time.


Carrie said...

You are stronger than you think. Most of that strength is from you because everyday you fight this. You wake up, you eat, breathe, love and live. You may feel like you want to cower in the corner, but you aren't. You're facing this head on. One step at a time. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK. The rest of your strength comes from that amazing husband of yours and all of your friends and family that are, as you say, lighting your way. And we're here, by your side, not going anywhere til you beat this thing. And you will beat it, you will keep fighting it because you're strong and brave. Just because you cry and you are scared of what yu have to go through doesn't mean you aren't brave, it just means you are human. I love you, no matter what, and I'm here, no matter what.

Caroline said...

What a long long day you have had. I hope you have some time now to just sit. I am so sorry you are going through all this. There are a lot of people on this path with you who do love you. Try to find 15 mins a day to "meditate" even if you just sit and breathe. Repeating a prayer over and over for 15 mins allows your mind a "breather" of its own and encourages your body to send out messages that will help you. It is really the only, only advice I have to offer.
Rest and recuperate. And keep writing. We need your words.

The Zagorski's said...

Hi Heather,
Wow, what a day! My thoughts and prayers are soooo with you and your family as you go through each moment of the day. I'm so glad to read your post and the question that you pose on how we see you as strong, etc, it is a very good question! The answer is: It's based on you =) I might live far away and our communication is primarily on FB now but for me I've always known you to be a "go forth and getter done/have fun/support those you love/develop a hobby, believe in GOD and get the most out of every moment kind of woman" =) I know that life pre-this wasn't always a bed of roses, we all struggle with all kinds of things, but you show your love and compassion continuously and make it through to the next step =)

Thank you for your honesty Heather, it's Golden!

With love and prayers,

Ron Sr. said...

Heather, I am going to tell you that your family and friends are all just selfish when it comes to you. Maybe we took you for granted before you got sick and we are all realizing what a wonderful person that you are and have been.
We see your family and what they mean to us, and none of them would be what they are or will be without you. So, please push through this for all of us selfish people. You don't have to be brave and strong.
Just get well so that we can enjoy you and love you for a long, long time.

Michael said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing that great big heart of your. You are a pillar of strength and courage to those around you.

ron said...

Sometimes being strong and brave means breathing. Taking one breath at a time, one after the other. None of us knows what you're going through. You have a situation that is unique from anyone else. You are the only Heather Everingham on the planet. Take in all of the encouragement and support your loved ones have to offer. There is only One who knows you and has the resources to meet your every need. He'll do that through His hands and feet in the body of Christ. And although it may be hard sometimes, all you need to do is breathe. Do that and you are strong and you!

Kendra said...

I remember those feelings well and wondering why people thought I was so strong and brave when it was such a struggle to even get out of bed.

Sending you hugs today!